July 1

Read Psalms 36 -- 39

In Today's Reading:

David's confidence in God; destruction of the wicked; the prayer of a penitent heart; brevity of life

David sat watching a fire burning and said: While I was musing the fire burned (Psalm 39:3), its bright flames slowly turned to ashes. He was reminded of how the most satisfying life soon fades and ends in death. This is a reminder to all of us that, regardless of how inspiring and promising life may be, it will soon end. David then prayed: LORD, make me to know . . the measure of my days. . . . surely every man is vanity (as nothing) (39:4,11). David realized he could not be so caught up with his achievements and plans that he would forget that his most important purpose in life was his daily relationship with the Lord. David's prayer points out that the brevity of life is an issue everyone should consider, not just senior citizens. In contrast, our culture distracts us from serious consideration that life is short and opportunities for fulfilling the will of God will soon be no more (39:13).

Compared to eternity, earthly life is very, very short. Yet, strangely enough, it is easy to be so involved with daily activities that we forget we always are just one breath away from death.

In our brief journey on earth, we may sometimes retrace our steps or repeat a task; but, in our journey through life, wasted time can never be recovered. This points out how seriously we need to consider what God would have us do today and take advantage of every opportunity to wholeheartedly serve Him. Only as we read through the Bible will we fully know what God expects of us and how to be prepared to serve Him.

Most of our time and energy are devoted to preparations for earthly securities or pleasures. Many make the fatal mistake of waiting too long for a "convenient time" to serve the Lord. But the clock of time will soon stop without notice. Just as the sun is seen rising in the east, it will soon set in the west, and another day brings us that much closer to eternity (see 90:12)

Death will forever separate us from all of the material things that we possess. For the majority of us, death will come unexpectedly, and much sooner than we think. Let us reconsider our secular goals. Do they rob us of our opportunities to help reach a lost world with the words of eternal life?

It is of utmost importance that, just as Jesus Christ did, we need to fulfill our purpose for existence: I must work (do) the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4).

Christ Revealed:

As the Fountain of Life (and the) Light (Psalm 36:9). In Him was Life; and the Life was the Light of men. . . . That was the True Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:4-9; compare 4:10,14; Revelation 22:1).

Word Studies:

36:7 put their trust under = take refuge in; 38:2 presseth me sore = your punishment presses heavily upon me; 38:8 roared = groaned with anguish; 38:11 sore = afflictions.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Pray for the 2003 National Bible Reading Movement · the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · July Arabic Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Reginald and Alice Jones · Country: Hungary (11 million) in east-central Europe · Major language: Hungarian · New freedom has opened the door to evangelism and Bible distribution · 61% Roman Catholic; 24% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).

Optional Reading: Colossians 4

NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:16