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Our Daily Bread devotional, January 18, 2017 – Long Shadows

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Topic: Long Shadows [Wednesday January 18, 2017]

Read: Psalm 100, Bible in a Year: Genesis 43–45; Matthew 12:24–50

The Lord is good and his love . . . continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5

Several years ago, my wife and I stayed in a rustic bed-and-breakfast in the remote Yorkshire Dales of England. We were there with four other couples, all British, whom we had never met before. Sitting in the living room with our after-dinner coffees, the conversation turned to occupations with the question “What do you do?” At the time I was serving as the president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and I assumed that no one there knew of MBI or its founder, D. L. Moody. When I mentioned the name of the school, their response was immediate and surprising. “Of Moody and Sankey . . . that Moody?” Another guest added, “We have a Sankey hymnal and our family often gathers around the piano to sing from it.” I was amazed! The evangelist Dwight Moody and his musician Ira Sankey had held meetings in the British Isles more than 120 years ago, and their influence was still being felt.

I left the room that night thinking of the ways our lives can cast long shadows of influence for God—a praying mother’s influence on her children, an encouraging coworker’s words, the support and challenge of a teacher or a mentor, the loving but corrective words of a friend. It’s a high privilege to play a role in the wonderful promise that “His love . . . continues through all generations” (Ps. 100:5).

Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that while our lives are short, what we do for You now can have an impact long after we are home with You. Lead me today to invest in the lives of others.

Only what’s done for Christ will last.


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Insight:

Many scholars believe Psalm 100 was sung at Israel’s festivals and possibly in connection with a thank offering. It likely functioned as a liturgical conclusion to Psalms 96–99, which proclaim Yahweh’s kingship.

Each of the psalms in this section extols one attribute of God and then leads God’s people to worship Him in light of this attribute. Psalm 96 praises the Lord for His righteous judgment; He will not allow evil and injustice to reign forever. Psalm 97 praises God that He is sovereign, Psalm 98 praises Him for His salvation, and Psalm 99 for His holiness.

Together, Psalms 96–100 construct a movement of praise that culminates with a call for the whole earth to sing praise to God—the sovereign, holy, and righteous One who will judge the earth. How can you express praise today for God’s faithfulness that will bear witness for future generations?

This message was written by Joe Stowell [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]

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