Psalm 119:105

Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

How do you see the Word of God?  It is so powerful and deep in the knowledge of God we will never be able to thoroughly see all that is in it.  We will never be able to exhaust the riches that are waiting to be discovered by us. However, many look at it as just a book that we must read simply because we are Christians.  If that is how we see it, we will miss are the beauty and wisdom that is found inside it.

God gave us the scriptures to aid us in every aspect of our lives.  He loves us and desires that we live a life that is not only pleasing to Him, but also the best for us.  It shows us what His perfect will is.  It shows us what is right and good, and what is wrong and evil.  It tells us such things as we are to love God with all our heart, soul,  mind and all our might.  (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27).  It says that we must love our enemies as we love ourselves. (Proverbs 25:21 and Matthew 5:44 ).  We are to be humble and not arrogant. (2 Chronicles 7:14 and James 4:10).  And lastly, we are to rely on God when things get difficult. (Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7).  Note that I included an Old Testament and a New Testament verse.  God has not changed and everything He promised and expected in the Old are also promised and expected in the New.

Not only does He show us how to live a life pleasing to Him, He will also guide our lives so that we will not fall or wonder away.   He shows us what the way of righteousness is, for He is our guide.  One of the most famous passages of scripture shows us beautifully what this means.  “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23.  He is our loving shepherd and He will only guide us to the places that are good while supplying everything we need.  When are spirit is weary, exhausted or troubled, He will lift us up and encourage us.  And He will never lead us to a place of doom but will take us a straight way to Himself.  And though we walk in difficult and dangerous places, we have no need to be afraid for He goes before us providing protection which gives us much comfort.  And He will prepare a table for us to feast at, and though our enemies see us, and are with us, we still have what we need, for God ensures we are provided for.  Moreover, we can be assured that His goodness and love will always be with us, and we will reside with Him forever.  Is not this a wonderful picture of His perfect guidance and leading?

And while we are on this journey, He lights our way so that so that we need not stumble over things the enemy puts in our way, and He lights the way so that we will not leave the path He has chosen for us.  He will not guide us blindly, but will show us clearly that path, ensuring us that as long as we stay on the path, we are safe and will be brought through.  Now, there is always the possibility that we may need to give our lives in His work.  This is illustrated by Paul when the prophet Agabus told Him he would be arrested by the Jews and handed over to Rome.  “Then Paul answered, What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

God’s Word is more than just a list of commandments, although there are things we are commanded to do to show our true love for Him.  It is also a guide as to how we should live this life and the type of service we are called to.  It is also a source of encouragement and peace that whatever He calls us to do, we will never be alone.  “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5and “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” Hebrews 13:5.  God’s Word is used to teach us, lead us, guide us, protect us and show us the great and eternal love of God.  You do not need anything but His Word.  “For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.” Psalm 48:14

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Mark 4:21

Verse of the Day Devotion Mark 4:21 

“And He was saying to them, A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?” – Mark 4:21 

Today we will look at the Parable of a Lamp under a basket.  Here is this parable as found in Matthew’s gospel.

And He was saying to them, A lamp is not brought to be put under a peck-measure (basket), is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?  For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it should come to light. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.  And He was saying to them, Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides. For whoever has, to him shall more be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” Mark 4:21-25.

In order to get a full understanding of this parable, we must look closely at our focus verse.  In the New American Standard Bible (NASB) which I predominantly use, along with most other translations, the wording is “A lamp is not brought”.  However, in the Greek the wording is much more interesting. It is literally saying, “The Lamp does not come”.  The imagery is of the Messiah, coming down to bring the truth to mankind.  We read the following in the Gospel of John. “Again, therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12.  And, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. And again, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5.  There are some who say the lamp represents the Kingdome of God.  But based on Christ’s claim in various places that He was the light of the world, I believe it must be Christ

Therefore, the way the Greek puts it makes sense.  He did not come into the world to be put under a basket or under a bed.  He did not come to conceal His message. He came to declare it, and He uses parables many times to present them.  Then He says, “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it should come to light.” Mark 4:22. This verse seems to contradict verse 21. However, Jesus and His kingdom were concealed temporarily, for He was not fully revealed until after the resurrection.  On earth He took on the form of man, just as any other man.  But after the resurrection, He was fully revealed for who He truly was, the promised Messiah, the Son of God.  However, the kingdom will not be fully revealed until the consummation of all things. 

Then next he says, “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23. And then Mark clarifies what He meant. “And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides.” Mark 4:24. Jesus was telling them to listen carefully to what they are taught.  However, they were not simply to learn themselves, but they were called to teach others what they learned.  Because the mere hearing and receiving cannot be seen as measuring out, what He is saying is that as you teach others the truth, the more diligence you give in this teaching then their knowledge will also increase, which will allow them to teach even more.  Basically, the willingness and effort that are necessary for paying close attention to Jesus’ parables will be proportionately rewarded. The next phrase and still more will be given you underscores the positive, rich reward that comes from careful consideration of Jesus’ parables.

In closing, Jesus came as a light to this world.  When He left, He placed that office upon us.  Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16.  The disciples were taught by Christ the truth of the gospel and were then called to go out and spread it.  We are now those who are called to tell our world the gospel message.  “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.  We are now the ones to reveal the truth of Jesus to all we come to.  Are we diligent in this work? 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.