"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people ... Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him."
Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God's Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord's people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah's wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond--Speak evil of no man.
The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God's blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he bore with Peter's boastful denial that he needed such a caution.
"Spices for anointing oil."
Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without his aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! nor are the prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians one jot superior. A holy anointing is the soul and life of piety, its absence the most grievous of all calamities. To go before the Lord without anointing is as though some common Levite had thrust himself into the priest's office--his ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings. They drop upon us from our glorious Head; from his anointing we who are as the skirts of his garments partake of a plenteous unction. Choice spices were compounded with rarest art of the apothecary to form the anointing oil, to show forth to us how rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit. All good things are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation, infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy, and divine sanctification all lie compounded with other excellencies in that sacred eye-salve, the heavenly anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the character and person of the man upon whom it is poured. Nothing like it can be found in all the treasuries of the rich, or the secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It comes alone from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it this very evening. O Lord, anoint thy servants.
Today's reading: Ezekiel 35-36, 2 Peter 1 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 35-36
A Prophecy Against Edom
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir; prophesy against it 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you and make you a desolate waste. 4 I will turn your towns into ruins and you will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
5 “‘Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax, 6 therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. 7 I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and cut off from it all who come and go. 8 I will fill your mountains with the slain; those killed by the sword will fall on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines.9 I will make you desolate forever; your towns will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD....
Today's New Testament reading: 2 Peter 1
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Confirming One’s Calling and Election
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires....
Micaiah, Michaiah [Mīcā'iah,Mī chā'iah]—who is like jehovah. Here is a name occurring many times in the Old Testament and used of women as well as men. It is spelled in different ways. See MICA andMICAH.
- A prophet, son of Imlah, who foretold the fall of Ahab at Ramoth-gilead ( 1 Kings 22:8,9; 2 Chron. 18:8). There are no truer hearts to God than his. Carefully compare the three great prophets of 1 Kings—Ahijah, Elijah and Micaiah.
- The father of Achbor, a chief officer of King Josiah ( 2 Kings 22:12, 14).
- A prince of Judah ordered by Jehoshaphat to teach the people (2 Chron. 17:7).
- A priest of the family of Asaph who blew a trumpet at the dedication of the wall ( Neh. 12:35, 41).
- The son of Gemariah, a prince of Judah in Jehoiakim’s time (Jer. 36:11, 13).
Also the name of the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. (See 1 Kings 15:2; 2 Chron. 11:20; 13:2).
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GOD’S ATTRIBUTES- HE IS RIGHTEOUS
God is right in everything he is and does. His goodness, in other words, is the shape of the way he relates to others. There is nothing God has ever done that is not right and nothing he will ever do that is not right. Justice is God’s rightness-his righteousness-applied in matters of judgment. In the final judgment, God will do what is right; and in the everyday flow of decisions, deliberations, and minor judgments, God’s opinion is unfailingly right, and thus good. Probably none of us fully realize just how much we need the judgment of God. Life presents us with puzzles. The pieces lie before us-all the complex factors going into a major decision, or the confusing signals we get from the people in our lives. We need to make good judgments, ones that account for all the pieces, and that pull the pieces together.
I have talked to many people trying to figure out how God views a relative who is acting in spiritual rebellion, or to those who are in pain over the eternal destiny of a loved one who recently passed away. Time and again I go back to Genesis 18:25 where Abraham, contemplating the impending judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah said, “Will not the judge of all the earth do right?”
Abraham was saying, surely God makes moral distinctions between good and evil, or else what hope do we have? When a matter seems too expansive for us to make a judgment, we can trust that God will view it with righteousness, and that his response will be just.
Romans 3:21-26 speaks of the God who is righteous, and who makes us righteous–the God who is just, and who justifies:
“ But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Starting December 1, "Christmas Joy." Check it out.
I’m glad to partner with Bible Gateway in bringing devotionals like Everything New to you via email. I have written a 25 day Christmas devotional called Christmas Joy which will be sent out in 25 short readings, December 1 through 25, and there are two ways for you to get it.
The Christmas season should be a time for personal spiritual renewal. A time of joy and celebration, light and life. In Christmas Joy, a daily devotional for the month of December, you will receive insight and inspiration that keeps Christ in Christmas. Each daily reading unpacks the meaning of words like joy, peace, Immanuel, shepherd, Magi, Mary, star, virgin, counselor, prince, manger, and more.
You can get Christmas Joy delivered to your email inbox by subscribing at BibleGateway.com (see right side of page)
OR you can acquire the complete Christmas Joy devotional as a Kindle eBook (readable on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle). I hope you’ll choose to follow along.