Monday: Betrayed

Theme: Psalms 52 and 54

In this week’s lessons we learn how David approached God in prayer when he experienced the terrible situation of being betrayed.

Scripture: Psalm 54:1-7

It is not always possible to trace a connection between psalms, but sometimes it is, and that is the case with Psalm 54 and those that surround it. Psalm 54 follows nicely upon Psalm 53. The earlier psalm was about people who act as if "there is no God,” the moral and spiritual "fools" of this world. In Psalm 54 the psalmist is surrounded by just such people. He speaks of them as "ruthless men...men without regard for God" (v. 3). The earlier psalm ends with "the faith of the saints," that is, the faith of believers living in just such a world. Psalm 54 is by one of those saints, by David.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Friday: A Psalm That Is Repeated

Theme: The Faith of the Saints

In this week’s lessons we look carefully at both what sin is and what it does, and then contrast that with our need for the Savior, who alone can deliver us from our sin.

Scripture: Psalm 53:1-6

The fruit of sin. Sin destroys the one who pursues it, of course. But verse 4 also shows how it impacts others. The verse uses a simple image, describing evildoers as "those who devour my people as men eat bread." In the Middle East, as in the western world, bread is the most common of food staples. It is eaten regularly and with scarcely a thought. This seems to be how the psalmist regards evildoers as acting when they further their own interests. They devour the weak and poor in order that they might grow strong and rich themselves. What an apt description of our own "dog eat dog" world! We know people who function exactly like that. They don't care what happens to anyone else. Underneath the glamour, that is sin's true nature.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Thursday: A Psalm That Is Repeated

Theme: The Folly and Filthiness of Sin

In this week’s lessons we look carefully at both what sin is and what it does, and then contrast that with our need for the Savior, who alone can deliver us from our sin.

Scripture: Psalm 53:1-6

The folly of sin. This is utter folly, of course, the fourth of Henry's points. It is folly because God exists, whether we acknowledge him or not, and because it is certain that one day we will have to stand before him to give an accounting of every word we have spoken and every deed we have done. If you are a person who has been living as if there is no God, what do you suppose you will say to God on that day? What excuse will you make?

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Wednesday: A Psalm That Is Repeated

Theme: The Fault and Fountain of Sin

In this week’s lessons we look carefully at both what sin is and what it does, and then contrast that with our need for the Savior, who alone can deliver us from our sin.

Scripture: Psalm 53:1-6

The fault of sin. Another way we deal with sin so we can live with it and not feel too guilty is to minimize sin, thinking of sin as a weakness or imperfection perhaps but certainly not as a serious transgression that inevitably harms us and wounds others. It is evidence of our folly that we do this, but God is no fool and he “tells it like it is.”

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

When Your Spouse Won't Join a Solid Church

Among the many grievous situations in which a believer may find himself or herself, having a spouse who is either unbelieving or unwilling to join a biblical church can be one of the most burdensome. The Scriptures teach us the importance of belonging to a local congregation, being under the oversight of godly elders and living out the Christian life among the members of the assembly. What is a believer to do when his or her spouse refuses to attend a church or is unwilling to join a local congregation? 

Among the many grievous situations in which a believer may find himself or herself, having a spouse who is either unbelieving or unwilling to join a biblical church can be one of the most burdensome. The Scriptures teach us the importance of belonging to a local congregation, being under the oversight of godly elders and living out the Christian life among the members of the assembly. What is a believer to do when his or her spouse refuses to attend a church or is unwilling to join a local congregation?

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Tuesday: A Psalm That Is Repeated

Theme: Fools and Their Folly

In this week’s lessons we look carefully at both what sin is and what it does, and then contrast that with our need for the Savior, who alone can deliver us from our sin.

Scripture: Psalm 53:1-6

The only significant variation in Psalm 53 is verse 5, which replaces verses 5 and 6 of Psalm 14. The earlier psalm seems to be addressing fools in Israel, saying, “There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.” The later psalm is addressing evildoers who have attacked Israel, presumably Gentiles, whom it refers to saying, “There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. God scattered the bones of those who attacked you, you put them to shame, for God despised them.”

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Monday: A Psalm That Is Repeated

Theme: Slightly Different Psalms

In this week’s lessons we look carefully at both what sin is and what it does, and then contrast that with our need for the Savior, who alone can deliver us from our sin.

Scripture: Psalm 53:1-6

For the first time in our study we have come to a psalm that is a very close repetition of one we have already examined. The repeated psalm is Psalm 14, appearing again as Psalm 53, except for a few minor changes and the last three lines of verse 5. This suggests two questions: Why is it repeated? and What can I say about the psalm the second time?

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Just in Time

We should long to be confident in a godly way, and for the right reasons. As we work towards that end, we can be confident in the God providentially cares for our infant souls in His time. The lateness of the world, I am convinced, is the providential exactitude of God our Father. He is always on time, and he always delivers.

Some months ago, my mother handed me two old yellow sheets of notebook paper—the kind with dull green lines for text and a red double-lined sidebar. This was always the kind of paper I considered most cheap: the last-resort paper. On the backside of the paper, I found my name penned in my father’s small-cap script: “Taylor.”

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is member supported and operates only by your faithful support. Thank you.

Christward Collective is a conversation of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Christward Collective and the mission of the Alliance.

Friday: As Safe as You Know How

Theme: An Inescapable Surrender

In this week’s Easter lessons we note the futility of those who tried to keep shut the tomb that was soon going to be empty, and of the need for everyone to submit to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Matthew 27:65-66

I wonder if you have been confronted by the power of that resurrection. The chief priests and Pharisees tried to secure their ecclesiastical world against Jesus. Saul tried to secure his religious traditions and life. Satan had been trying to secure his evil kingdom. Perhaps you too have been trying to secure your own way of doing things or your own values or your own mastery of your time. You have heard Christ's gospel, but you have tried to keep it politely in its place. Jesus is not that easily contained. You push him back, but he comes forward again. You banish him but he intrudes when you are least expecting it.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

Thursday: As Safe as You Know How

Theme: A Thriving Fellowship

In this week’s Easter lessons we note the futility of those who tried to keep shut the tomb that was soon going to be empty, and of the need for everyone to submit to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Matthew 27:65-66

There was another character who got into the act. In fact, he had been leading the battle against the Lord Jesus Christ for centuries. His name is Satan. We see him first in the Garden of Eden, where he tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and thus participates in the ruin of the race. We see him in Egypt and in other nations as they persecuted God’s people, through whom the Messiah was to come. At last we see him waging war against the incarnate Jesus.

Think and Act Biblically from James Boice is a devotional of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. It is supported only by its readers and gracious Christians like you. Please prayerfully consider supporting Think and Act Biblically and the mission of the Alliance.

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