Psalm 2 – The nations that rage will become the inheritance of the Messiah (vv. 1,8).
Father, you have given to Jesus the ends of the earth as His possession.
He declares, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Jesus Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!’ (Abraham Kuyper)
Since the ends of the earth are your possession, you have called us to be your witnesses “even to the ends (remotest parts) of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
I pray that you would supernaturally cause a mass conversion of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, animists, atheists, and agnostics
to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have mercy upon them, open blind eyes like you did long ago,
pour the wine of your love and Word on calloused, stony hearts.
May a great in-gathering of souls take place in our lifetime
as people devotedly kiss Your Son as Savior (Psalm 2:11),
as young people throughout the world
“serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling” (v.11)
as they contemplate you as a loving Savior,
but also as a just judge
who will come with “a rod of iron”
and break those who have refused to kiss you
as the only Savior of sinners. AMEN.
Lord of the nations, You are pursuing with omnipotent passion
the worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for Yourself
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
As we prepare to worship You today,
grant us to share in Your inexhaustible enthusiasm
for the supremacy of Your name among the nations.
Bring our affections into line with Yours,
and, for the sake of Your name, may we renounce the quest for worldly comforts
and join Your global cause. Amen.
Adapted from John Piper
‘The only wise God’ deserves all praise, honor, and glory since He is the originator and sustainer of His wonderful plan for redemption. His objective “to bring about the obedience of faith” from among the nations will be realized (Romans 16:26).
Satan is the accuser of Christians who undermines grace and assurance, makes Christians insecure, always feeling we have something to prove and therefore divides the church into those who think they have achieved some merit and goodness and those who despair that they haven’t. This is the one whom the God of peace will soon crush under your feet” (Romans 16:20).
– Christopher Ash
The central question to which the whole New Testament in one way or another is addressed is the question of our relationship, here and hereafter, with our holy Creator: How weak, perverse, estranged, and guilty sinners may gain and guard knowledge of God’s gracious pardon, acceptance and renewal. It is to this question that Christ is the answer, and that all New Testament interpretation of the cross relates.
– J.I. Packer
Mark 13:9-13 – 9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
My devotional reading took me through Mark 13 this morning and it is my custom when I find myself in one of the gospels to read through J.C. Ryle’s commentary entitled Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. I love his simple, straight-forward approach through the text. Today’s portion was particularly encouraging regarding Jesus’ teaching to his disciples regarding the end times. Listen to encouraging words that truly are a cordial to any follower of Jesus who encounters trouble, affliction, persecution and tribulation be it little or be it great.
- For one thing Jesus tells us that “the Gospel must first be preached among all nations.” It must be, and it shall be. In spite of men and devils, the story of the cross of Christ shall be told in every part of the world. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Notwithstanding persecution, imprisonment, and death, there never shall be lacking a succession of faithful men, who shall proclaim the glad tidings of salvation by grace. Few may believe them. Many of their hearers may continue hardened in sin. But nothing shall prevent the Gospel being preached. The word shall never be bound, though those who preach it may be imprisoned and slain. (2 Tim. 2:9.)
- For another thing, our Lord tells us, that those who are placed in special trial for the Gospel’s sake, shall have special help in their time of need. The Holy Spirit shall assist them in making their defense. They shall have a mouth and wisdom which their adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist. As it was with Peter and John and Paul, when brought before Jewish and Roman councils, so shall it be with all true-hearted disciples. How thoroughly this promise has been fulfilled, the histories of Huss, and Luther, and Latimer, and Ridley, and Baxter abundantly prove. Christ has been faithful to His word.
- For another thing, our Lord tells us that patient perseverance shall result in final salvation. “He who endures unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Not one of those who endure tribulation shall miss his reward. All shall at length reap a rich harvest. Though they sow in tears, they shall reap in joy. Their light affliction, which is but for a moment, shall lead to an eternal weight of glory.
- Let us gather comfort from these comfortable promises for all true-hearted servants of Christ. Persecuted, vexed, and mocked, as they are now, they shall find at length they are on the victorious side. Beset, perplexed, tried, as they sometimes are, they shall never find themselves entirely forsaken. Though cast down, they shall not be destroyed. Let them possess their souls in patience. The end of all that they see going on around them is certain, fixed, and sure. The kingdoms of this world shall yet become the kingdoms of their God and of his Christ. And when the scoffers and ungodly, who so often insulted them, are put to shame, believers shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.