Daily Encouragement

June 9 – Solomon’s Temple!

1 Kings 5:1-6:38
Acts 7:1-29
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 16:28-30

1 Kings 5:7 — How great is it that your father’s friends will bless the LORD, and that your father’s legacy is continued!

1 Kings 6:1 — This is the anchor dating passage for the Old Testament. Four hundred eighty years from the Exodus to the construction of the Temple. That connects 1446 (date of the Exodus) to 966 BC.

1 Kings 6:7 — Amazing! A massive construction project but no sound of jackhammers, axes, or iron tools while it was under construction!

1 Kings 6:12 — What does the LORD say is the one condition for Solomon to have a successful reign? Obedience! Have we heard this before?

1 Kings 6:38 — How is that for an impressive project? Tens of thousands of people working for seven years!

Acts 7:2 — Stephen, a man willing to wait on tables, was able to preach and recite Hebrew history. We see here that Genesis and the early Exodus history is summarized in twenty-eight verses. The Torah is very relevant to the New Testament.

Psalm 127:1 — Great reminder of Proverbs 19:21, James 4:13-16, and Luke 12:16-21.

Psalm 127:3 — Children are a blessing and are important to society:

The United States is in the midst of what some worry is a baby crisis. The number of women giving birth has been declining for years and just hit a historic low. If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.

Washington Post

Proverbs 16:28 — Are you a uniter or a divider?

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Daily Encouragement

June 8 – When the Lord Brought Back the Captives …

1 Kings 3:3-4:34
Acts 6:1-15
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 16:26-27

1 Kings 3:9 — May we pray for wisdom as well! Too often people pray only for health, wealth, and prosperity. God wants to give us all that, but He first wants to give us wisdom. Also, if we don’t walk in God’s ways, we’re not getting the fringe benefits (1 Kings 3:14).

1 Kings 4:21 — Solomon’s reign seems impressive but … as Samuel warned in 1 Samuel 8:14-15 … the king will take your fields, your vineyards, your olive groves, your grain, your vintage, and more! While prosperity is fun, it is also expensive (1 Kings 12:4).

1 Kings 4:25 — This verse contains one of George Washington’s favorite phrases: “Every man under his vine and under his fig tree.” George Tsakiridis explains:

“Under their vine and fig tree” is a phrase quoted in the Hebrew Scriptures in three different places: Micah 4:4, 1 Kings 4:25, and Zechariah 3:10. George Washington used this phrase multiple times in correspondence throughout his life, and one can find Washington reference it almost fifty times …

The phrase refers to the independence of the peasant farmer who is freed from military oppression. In the biblical passage there is a juxtaposition of the simple life with that of royalty or the state. Thus, it would seem that Washington’s use of “vine and fig tree” in its full context would be an appropriate message in the setting of the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.


1 Kings 4:26 — Solomon is violating Deuteronomy 17:16.

Acts 6:10 — Stephen’s job description was to “serve tables” (Acts 6:2), but he spoke with wisdom and the Spirit. They charged him (Acts 6:14) with the same charge they attacked Jesus with in Mark 14:58.

Psalm 126:1-3 – From former Vice President Mike Pence:

It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget… when three Americans stepped onto the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews and gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back.

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion … The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

To these men of faith and courage – God bless you and welcome home!

Psalm126:6 — Spurgeon has a great outline:

  • A sojourning: “He that now goeth on his way.”
  • A sorrowing: “weeping.”
  • A sowing: “and beareth forth good seed.”

In the regress, there are three opposites to these:

  • Returning: “He shall doubtless come again.”
  • Rejoicing: “with joy.”
  • Reaping: “and bring his sheaves with him.”
John Hume

Proverbs 16:26 — From Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible:

He that laboreth – literally, as in the margin, i. e., “The desire of the laborer labors for him” (or, helps him in his work), “for his mouth urges him on.” Hunger of some kind is the spring of all hearty labor. Without that the man would sit down and take his ease. So also, unless there is a hunger in the soul, craving to be fed, there can be no true labor after righteousness and wisdom (compare Matthew 5:6).

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Daily Encouragement

June 7 – Adonijah’s Not So Humble Request

1 Kings 2:1-3:2
Acts 5:1-42
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 16:25

1 Kings 2:3 — King David gives his most important advice to Solomon. Be a man (1 Kings 2:2), but most importantly obey the LORD thy God. David’s charge to Solomon here uses language from Psalm 119. Ways (6x in Psalm 119), statutes (22x in Psalm 119), commandments (22x in Psalm 119), judgments (22x in Psalm 119), testimonies (23x in Psalm 119), and Law (25x in Psalm 119). 120 times in Psalm 119 he uses these six words to refer to the requirements of God. Why?

“… that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest …” Prosperity is the dominant desire of America for the last hundred plus years. One of the more interesting characters promoting this idea is Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich (1937), one of the 10 bestselling self-help books of all time. We need to follow the LORD, and we can prosper – without having to buy any other books!

1 Kings 2:5 — Joab is a man that has stood out in the passages we have read. David has not forgotten his deeds to Abner and Amasa. Because Joab was loyal to David, David had to deal tactfully with Joab, so David lets Solomon tend to the problem. We see David has a good memory of his friends (Barzillai) and his enemies (Shimei).

1 Kings 2:17 — Such a simple request, but it was a request that cost him his life (1 Kings 2:25). From The Bible Knowledge Commentary:

Solomon in his wisdom realized that the people would regard Abishag as a concubine and therefore would interpret Adonijah’s marriage to her as a claim to the throne. Also since Adonijah was older (v. 22) than Solomon (cf. 2 Sam. 3:4 with 2 Sam. 5:13–14) the people would assume that he had more right to be king than Solomon.

Thomas L. Constable, “1 Kings,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 492.

1 Kings 2:39-40 — While not exactly applicable, the principle of Deuteronomy 23:15 does apply.

1 Kings 3:1 — Leviticus 18:3 warned against the doings of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 17:16 warned about causing the people to return to Egypt.

Acts 5:5 — God has the power to bring the dead to life and to take the living to death. Not all signs (Acts 5:12) were positive situations for rejoicing.

Acts 5:21 — John on the Isle of Patmos records some of the last words of Jesus to us: “I have set before thee an open door.” (Revelation 3:8) The door was opened so that we could go, stand, and preach!

Acts 5:33 — The same God who broke up Adonijah’s war party with intense fear, allowed Gamaliel to be the tool to spare His servants and to further their ministry.

Acts 5:42 — From Earl Martin:

Psalm 125:1 — The promise of 1 Kings 2:3 has just been expanded to all that trust in the LORD. This promise applies to you – IF you trust and obey!

Proverbs 16:25 — Does God want you to follow your heart? No, He just wants you to follow Him!

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Daily Encouragement

June 6 – The First Political Campaign Parades!

1 Kings 1:1-53
Acts 4:1-37
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 16:24

We are now in 1 Kings! Fourteen books of the Bible done! Great job staying
faithful to God’s Word!

1 Kings 1:4 — Interesting comparison to Esther. In 1 Kings 1:2, the suggestion is almost identical “Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin” to Esther 2:2 “Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king.” Abishag was “very fair” (1 Samuel 1:2), while Esther was “fair and beautiful.”

1 Kings 1:5 — Note the similarity between this verse and Absalom in 2 Samuel 15:1. Lest you think this is an outdated tradition, be sure to go to your local 4th of July Parade!

Quick Parade Tips for Political Candidates

1 Kings 1:7 — Joab was also instrumental in bringing back Absalom (2 Samuel 14:22-23).

1 Kings 1:41 — For some reason Joab is sticking out to me as I read. Interesting that he is caught unprepared. Joshua also heard an unexpected noise of what he thought was war (Exodus 32:17).

1 Kings 1:49 — Instead of another war for the kingdom, God blessed Solomon by putting fear into the hearts of his opponents, neutralizing his opposition.

Acts 4:12 — 

No other name but the name of Jesus,
No other name but the name of the LORD,
No other name but the name of Jesus,
Is worthy of glory, is worthy of honor,
And worthy of power and all praise!

Acts 4:24 — Some may say that understanding creation isn’t an important issue. But if God didn’t make the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, then God has no authority to dictate to them. But the Creator does have the authority, and He has given us power to speak His Word with boldness (Acts 4:31)!

Psalm 124:8 — Speaking of the Creator, enjoy this song by Earl Martin, “Our Help Is in the Name”:

Proverbs 16:24 — Make some honey today!

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Daily Encouragement

June 5 – The Location of the Temple

2 Samuel 23:24-24:25
Acts 3:1-26
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 16:21-23

2 Samuel 23:24 — Our Bible reading plan jumps back in for the list of David’s Mighty Men. We may not all be part of David’s cohort, but we can be loyal soldiers!

2 Samuel 23:39 — Uriah the Hittite … the one that David had slain.

2 Samuel 24:1 — What was the big deal with the census? From GotQuestions.org:

In Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them.” It was up to God to command a census, and if David counted he should only do it at God’s command, receiving a ransom to “atone” for the counting. This is why God was angry again with Israel and is also why David was “conscience-stricken” after he counted Israel. David knew it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Samuel 24:10).

Was this from Satan or from God? From Answers in Genesis (AiG):

All temptation is permitted by God, but not caused by God. When evil spirits tempt us, they do so by permission (Job 1:12, 2:6; Luke 22:31). Satan therefore provoked David to number the people, and God allowed him to do so. God allows those things which serve to advance His holy and perfect will.

2 Samuel 24:3 — The loyal Joab who was ethically challenged realized that this was a bad idea. If your “Yes-Men” say “Wait a minute” … maybe they have a point …

2 Samuel 24:24 — What is special about the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite? In 2 Samuel 5, David captures the Jebusite city, but a threshing floor is fairly common. In 2 Chronicles 3:1, Solomon builds the house of the LORD on a threshing floor. From a sermon by Charles Spurgeon:

The threshing-floor of Ornan boasted no magnificence of size or beauty of construction. There was just the rock, and I suppose a composition spread upon it of hard clay or cement, that the feet of the oxen might all the better tread out the grain. That was all it was, yet when the Temple with all its glory crowned the place, God was never more conspicuously present than on that bare, ungarnished threshing-floor. “Meet God in a barn!” one says. Why not? Does that astonish you? God met Adam in a garden, Abraham under a tree, and Noah in an ark.

Acts 3:6 — And we’re back in the Temple, about a thousand years after our Old Testament reading. Peter had no silver or gold, but what have we read in Psalms and Proverbs that is better than silver and gold?

Acts 3:12 — Once you have a crowd – PREACH! I was with a young evangelist in training and a crowd had unexpectedly gathered around him at a local park. He asked me what to do – I said, “PREACH!”

Acts 3:19 — The message is reiterated from yesterday: Repent and be converted. But now we hear the message from the Mount of Olives – Jesus is coming!

Acts 3:22 — We read in the Torah about the coming of the Prophet. Now, Peter is saying this is the Prophet!

Psalm 123:2 — Yes, Jesus is our friend and our elder brother, but He is also our Master!

Psalm 123:4 — The Psalmist is repenting of sins of the heart here: pride at not being at ease and pride at not being proud (yes, that is an ironic sense of pride).

Proverbs 16:22 — Echoing Deuteronomy 30:19!

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Daily Encouragement

June 4 – Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

2 Samuel 22:1-23:23
Acts 2:1-47
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 16:19-20

2 Samuel 22:4 — Does this verse sound familiar? Actually, this whole chapter is very similar to Psalm 18! Psalm 18:3 says “call upon”, while 2 Samuel 22:4 says “call on.” But let’s enjoy the song based on this verse and 2 Samuel 22:47.

Note the structure of this proto-Psalm:

  • Attributes of the LORD (vv. 2-3)
  • Deliverance of the LORD (vv. 4-7)
  • Awesome power of the LORD (vv. 8-16)
  • Deliverance of the LORD (vv. 17-20)
  • Characteristics of a follower of the LORD (vv. 21-28)
  • Enabling power of the LORD (vv. 29-46)
  • Conclusion: Praise the LORD! (vv. 47-51)

2 Samuel 23:3-4 — The classic choral work “The Last Words of David” features this verse. From Diane Bish:

2 Samuel 23:5 — “Although my house be not so with God” – what a great reminder that God’s mercies are greater than our failures!

2 Samuel 23:16 — David inspired not just loyalty but love from his men.

Acts 2:21 — The culmination is not the prophecies, the visions, the dreams, the wonders, the signs, the darkened sun, or the blood moon, but that whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved! The message is not kept within the bounds of the Israelite kingdom; it is spread to the uttermost ends of the earth!

Acts 2:38 — Peter is preaching from Joel and David and leading the call to repent! What is Peter saying about baptism? It’s the result of the remission of sins, not the antecedent. From GotQuestions.org:

One example of how this preposition is used in other Scriptures is seen in Matthew 12:41 where the word eis communicates the “result” of an action. In this case it is said that the people of Nineveh “repented at the preaching of Jonah” (the word translated “at” is the same Greek word eis). Clearly, the meaning of this passage is that they repented “because of’” or “as the result of” Jonah’s preaching. In the same way, it would be possible that Acts 2:38 is indeed communicating the fact that they were to be baptized “as the result of” or “because” they already had believed and in doing so had already received forgiveness of their sins (John 1:12; John 3:14-18; John 5:24; John 11:25-26; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:39; Acts 16:31; Acts 26:18; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 1:12-14). This interpretation of the passage is also consistent with the message recorded in Peter’s next two sermons to unbelievers where he associates the forgiveness of sins with the act of repentance and faith in Christ without even mentioning baptism (Acts 3:17-26; Acts 4:8-12).

Psalm 122:1 — The choral work based on this verse was the processional march of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton:

Psalm 122:6 — Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Proverbs 16:20 — How can you find happiness?

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Daily Encouragement

June 3 – The Sons Dying for Their Father’s Sins

2 Samuel 20:14-21:22
Acts 1:1-26
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 16:18

2 Samuel 20:15 — Abel of Beth-maachah is located on the present-day border of Israel and Lebanon, about four miles from where the Tel Dan Stele was found. Sheba fled to the farthest northern reach of the kingdom.

2 Samuel 20:21 — While Israel was forbidden from multiplying chariots, in their geographically dangerous spot that is the cross-section of Assyria, Egypt, Philistines, and who knows who else coming between Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in their agriculturally precarious position of being greatly dependent on the rainfall, God did allow them to have walled cities (Leviticus 25:29, Joshua 19:35-38, 2 Chronicles 11:5-12). During the Divided Kingdom, Jezebel would be thrown down off the wall (2 Kings 9:33).

2 Samuel 21:1 — Many commentators say that this event did not directly follow the preceding chapter. The Believer’s Bible Commentary says:

The remainder of 2 Samuel is really an appendix highlighting various incidents in the reign of David, though not in chronological order. (The chronological order continues again in 1 Kings 1.)

William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 345.

It is interesting that it took 3 years for David to recognize a supernatural cause of the famine. We see from many other places that famine was sent as a judgment (Nave’s Topical Index).

By the way, remember the Gibeonites from Joshua 9:15? This was roughly 400 years ago, yet God still was allowing the consequences of a rash vow from 400 years ago to cause a famine.

David was hoping for a lesser sentence than that prescribed under the previous Noahic Dispensation of Government (Genesis 9:6). The Noahic Covenant demanded bloodshed as did the current Mosaic Dispensation of Law (Leviticus 24:17). God had previously stated that sin was punished to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:6-7, Deuteronomy 5:9, Numbers 14:18, Leviticus 26:39). But how do we reconcile that with Deuteronomy 24:16 which says children shall not be put to death because of their father’s sin? John Piper says that “the sins of the fathers are punished in the children through becoming the sins of the children.” But why did God bless Israel (2 Samuel 21:14) for giving seven sons to be slain for a foolish oath taken 400 years ago?

Now what does the history of Israel demonstrate? It demonstrates that when God deals with Israel, He deals with them as a nation. When the fathers, the ones in control, the adults are bad, everybody gets the punishment.

From Stand to Reason (www.str.org)

The mother who abuses her body with cocaine may give birth to a “crack baby,” who will suffer its entire life for the sin of the mother. Sons may suffer like Saul’s sons did. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren may experience the hurt from an ancestor’s sin. The whole world is suffering from Adam’s sin. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20)!

It took the death of seven sons to assuage (not propitiate) the wrath of God for the sins of one man. Saul did not die for this sin even though he should have, he died for the witch’s sin that he took upon himself. One thousand years later, one sinless Son would die to propitiate the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world!

2 Samuel 21:21 — We read about Jonathan’s subtle (shrewd or crafty) brother Jonadab (2 Samuel 13:3, 2 Samuel 13:32), but now we have the complete opposite – an honorable nephew of David carrying on the family legacy of slaying giants!

Acts 1:8 — From Earl Martin:

Acts 1:22 — In addition to the twelve apostles, there were at least two other witnesses from the baptism of John to the ascension of Christ who were constant companions. Yes, indeed there are “many infallible proofs” of the resurrection of Jesus.

Psalm 121:1-8 — The song “My Help” is based virtually word for word from this Psalm:

Proverbs 16:18 — One of the most misquoted verses of the Bible. Pride does not go before a fall … pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit goes before a fall.

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Daily Encouragement

June 2 – The Return of the King

2 Samuel 19:11-20:13
John 21:1-25
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 16:16-17

2 Samuel 19:13 — David invites Absalom’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Amasa, to join him. David was interested in a speedy reconciliation, not a vindictive punishment. It was similar to Abraham Lincoln’s vision for a post-Civil War America.

2 Samuel 19:15 — Gilgal … where Joshua built a monument (Joshua 4:20), where the Angel of the LORD started in Judges 2:1, where Samuel had a circuit stop (1 Samuel 7:16), where Saul was made King (1 Samuel 11:14), where Elisha and Elijah worked (2 Kings 2:1, 4:38).

2 Samuel 19:23 — David followed the teaching of Proverbs 19:11 in order to spare Shimei. He “split the baby” so to say between Ziba and Mephibosheth and rewarded his true friend (Barzillai). David would not forget Barzillai’s kindness (1 Kings 2:7), and Barzillai is even recorded in the post-exilic records (Ezra 2:61, Nehemiah 7:63).

2 Samuel 19:37 — Barzillai wanted the king to bless Chimham instead. The king agreed (2 Samuel 19:38), and brought Chimham with him (2 Samuel 19:40). From Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

… probably the youngest son of Barzillai the Gileadite (2 Samuel 19:37-40). The “habitation of Chimham” (Jeremiah 41:17) was probably an inn or khan, which is the proper meaning of the Hebrew “geruth”, rendered “habitation”, established in later times in his possession at Bethlehem, which David gave to him as a reward for his loyalty in accompanying him to Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom (1 Kings 2:7). It has been supposed that, considering the stationary character of Eastern institutions, it was in the stable of this inn or caravanserai that our Savior was born (Luke 2:7).

2 Samuel 20:5 — Was David worried that Amasa was disloyal? From John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible:

(W)hether this was owing to the remissness of Amasa, or the unwillingness of the people to serve under him, who had been Absalom’s general in the late rebellion, or not having time sufficient allowed him, is not certain.

Either way, Amasa met a bloody end (2 Samuel 20:12).

John 21:3 — From the Pulpit Commentary:

According to some writers, Peter felt a presentiment of the coming of his Lord under scenes identical with those of his first call (Luke 5:1-11). According to others, Peter exhibited some of the heart-sickness of deferred hope. On either supposition we see a new illustration of, and testimony to, the character of the man who was so conspicuous an initiator.

John 21:17-19 — Peter, who so boldly said he would die for the LORD (Matthew 26:35, Mark 14:31, John 13:37) but denied Him three times (John 18:17, 25, 26), is now distraught as Jesus questions his love. But Jesus says, “I have a plan for you: feed my sheep … follow me.” And someday, this same Peter who wanted to die for his LORD, would die glorifying the Lord!

John 21:25 — From Earl Martin:

Psalm 120:1 — A great promise! “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me.”

Proverbs 16:16 — Television ads are filled with people hawking gold and silver. Usually, they can afford their marketing budget because they sell it at a 50% markup (yes, if you buy gold at a 50% markup, that means that even if gold jumps 50%, you have now officially broken even). Solomon, 3,000 years ago, realized that the demand for gold and silver was just as obsessive as it is today. But better than gold is wisdom. Better than silver is understanding. Interesting that Solomon’s father David uses the same analogy – Psalm 119:127 – the commandments of God are better than gold, and the Law of God is better than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Psalm 119:72).

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June 1 – Is the Young Man Safe?

2 Samuel 18:1-19:10
John 20:1-31
Psalm 119:153-176
Proverbs 16:14-15

Welcome to June! We’re on the verge of the halfway mark!

2 Samuel 18:2 — Notice that David paid attention to the loyalty of Ittai the Gittite. Now he’s a four-star general.

2 Samuel 18:8 — This is a curious phrase. Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible helps:

and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured; there were more slain in it the in the field of battle, what by one thing or another; as by falling into pits and on stumps of trees, and being entangled in the bushes, and could make but little haste, and so were overtaken by David’s men, and slain; insomuch that, as Josephus observes, there were more slain fleeing than fighting, and perhaps some might perish by wild beasts; so the Targum,

“and the beasts of the wood slew more of the people than were slain by the sword;”

and so the Syriac and Arabic versions render the words to the same purpose.

2 Samuel 18:9 — Speaking of the wood, the urbane Absalom got stuck in a tree.

2 Samuel 18:12 — The certain man learned the lesson of the Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:10) – don’t kill anyone that the king wants to protect!

2 Samuel 18:32-33 — “Is the young man Absalom safe?” David is moved by emotion for Absalom, but does he have a right to? David married many wives and even had more concubines (2 Samuel 5:13), clearly disobeying Deuteronomy 17:17. At the grave of the famous evangelist Billy Sunday, his sons are marked on his family memorial. The death years for his sons is close to Sunday’s, and some are before that of Billy himself. A biographer for D. L. Moody made a brief mention that all of D. L. Moody’s kids turned out okay as opposed to those of Sunday. Sunday’s three sons had nine marriages between them. From BereanWife.net:

George Marquis Sunday was born in 1892, William Ashley Sunday, Jr. in 1901, and Paul Thompson Sunday in 1907. These three sons were the source of untold grief and despair for their parents. They were drunkards, while their parents fought for Prohibition. They lived wild, riotous lives and embarrassed their parents. All three died before the age of 40 in tragic violent deaths. The oldest son committed suicide after being arrested for drunkenness and auto theft, one died while driving home drunk from a party, and the other crashed an airplane.

Like Billy Sunday, David accomplished much for the LORD but both regretted how their sons turned out. Is the young man Absalom safe? No, but he hasn’t been safe for a while.

2 Samuel 19:7 — While Joab wasn’t ethical, he was very practical. Thus, the moral danger of pragmatism. If pragmatism didn’t work, nobody would be enticed by it.

John 20:1 — ”Christ the LORD is risen today!

John 20:9 — How many times had Jesus told them He would rise again? Matthew 20:19, Matthew 27:63, Mark 8:31, Mark 10:34, Luke 18:33, Luke 24:7, etc.

John 20:23 — Did the Apostles have special power to forgive sins? No!

The key to understanding the meaning of John 20:23 lies in the previous two verses: “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” He sent them, as He is sending us, to bring the good news of the way to salvation and heaven to the whole world. Jesus was leaving the earth physically but promised God would be with them in the person of the Holy Spirit living in them. As they proclaimed the gospel, they could honestly tell people who believed in that message that their sins were forgiven, and they could honestly tell people that did not believe in the message that their sins were not forgiven and that they stand condemned in God’s eyes. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).


John 20:31 — The Gospel of John is not a collection of tales, inspirational stories, or morality plays. It is written that you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God!

Psalm 119:153 — How much of God’s Law do you have memorized? It’s a source of promises (Psalm 119:154), a treasury of mercy (Psalm 119:156), an eternal anchor (Psalm 119:160), awe-inspiring (Psalm 119:161), and the cause for rejoicing (Psalm 119:162)!

Psalm 119:165 — Need peace? Love the law!

Proverbs 16:14 — How do we pacify the wrathful King of Kings? Psalm 2:12 – submit to His Son!

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Daily Encouragement

May 31 – Nicodemus Takes a Public Stand

2 Samuel 17:1-29
John 19:23-42
Psalm 119:129-152
Proverbs 16:12-13

2 Samuel 17:23 — Why was Ahithophel so bitter against David? From the American Tract Society (ATS):

Ahithophel seems to have been the grandfather of Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 23:34, compared with 2 Samuel 11:3.

2 Samuel 17:27 — When David felt like everyone abandoned him, it was so good to be refreshed by true friends. A friend in need is a friend indeed!

John 19:39 — Nicodemus is only mentioned in the Gospel of John. He met with Jesus at night in John 3, and he urged caution among the chief priests and Pharisees in John 7. Now he brings about 70 pounds of myrrh and aloe. From If714.org:

This teaching Nicodemus learned coming in the secrecy of the night would greatly transform his life. In John 19 we see a very different Nicodemus, who was once afraid to come to Jesus in the day. Here he brought a mixture of aloes and myrrh to Jesus’s grave. Nicodemus was no longer afraid of what others thought of him or his reputation as a Pharisee. Jesus’ grave was under heavy guard following His death. The Pharisees wanted to make sure the disciples did not try to steal Jesus’s body and claim that He resurrected. It would have been well known that Nicodemus went to His grave. That day Nicodemus was bold in his faith of Christ. He denied his own rights to a reputation and submitted everything to Christ.

Psalm 119:136 — Many a parent has wept over their children’s sins after it was too late to redirect them. In today’s reading, the psalmist is weeping not just over other’s sins but also crying to the LORD because of his own sins (Psalm 119:145).

Psalm 119:147-148 — Where do you start and end your day?

Proverbs 16:12-13 — Do these verses only apply to royalty like King Charles? We are told that we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). We shall reign as kings and priests one day (Revelation 5:10). Let us act like the “princes in training” that we are, for our Father is the King of Kings!

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