Assurance

‘I give them eternal life.’ John 10:28 AMPC

Your salvation isn’t guaranteed by your performance—but by Christ’s death on the cross. Yes, you’ll have moments you’re proud of and moments you’re ashamed of. But as long as your trust is in Christ, you’re saved, and you’ll go to Heaven.

Jesus said: ‘I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.’ Even more, God stakes His claim to us. ‘He has put His seal of ownership on us and has given us the Spirit as His guarantee.’ (2 Corinthians 1:22 GWT)

You’ve probably done something similar: engraved your name on a tool or iPad. Stamping declares ownership. Through His Spirit, God stamps us. Would-be takers are repelled by the presence of His name. Satan is driven back by the declaration: Hands off. This redeemed child is Mine! Where there’s no assurance of salvation, there’s no peace. No peace means no joy. And no joy results in fear-based lives.

Grace creates a confident soul who declares, ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.’ (2 Timothy 1:12 NIV) Your boarding pass for the flight to Heaven is secure: ‘These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.’ (1 John 5:13 NKJV)

It’s not about your hold on God—but His hold on you!

SoulFood: Song of Sol 1–4, Luke 22:54–62, Ps 3, Pr 21:4–8

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

Song of Solomon 1–4:13

1:1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

She

  Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!
  For your love is better than wine;
    your anointing oils are fragrant;
  your name is oil poured out;
    therefore virgins love you.
  Draw me after you; let us run.
    The king has brought me into his chambers.

Others

  We will exult and rejoice in you;
    we will extol your love more than wine;
    rightly do they love you.

She

  I am very dark, but lovely,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
  like the tents of Kedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
  Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
    because the sun has looked upon me.
  My mother’s sons were angry with me;
    they made me keeper of the vineyards,
    but my own vineyard I have not kept!
  Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
    where you pasture your flock,
    where you make it lie down at noon;
  for why should I be like one who veils herself
    beside the flocks of your companions?

He

  If you do not know,
    O most beautiful among women,
  follow in the tracks of the flock,
    and pasture your young goats
    beside the shepherds’ tents.
  I compare you, my love,
    to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
10   Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
    your neck with strings of jewels.

Others

11   We will make for you ornaments of gold,
    studded with silver.

She

12   While the king was on his couch,
    my nard gave forth its fragrance.
13   My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
    that lies between my breasts.
14   My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
    in the vineyards of Engedi.

He

15   Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
    behold, you are beautiful;
    your eyes are doves.

She

16   Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
  Our couch is green;
17     the beams of our house are cedar;
    our rafters are pine.
2:1   I am a rose of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.

He

  As a lily among brambles,
    so is my love among the young women.

She

  As an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
    so is my beloved among the young men.
  With great delight I sat in his shadow,
    and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
  He brought me to the banqueting house,
    and his banner over me was love.
  Sustain me with raisins;
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am sick with love.
  His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
  that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

  The voice of my beloved!
    Behold, he comes,
  leaping over the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
  My beloved is like a gazelle
    or a young stag.
  Behold, there he stands
    behind our wall,
  gazing through the windows,
    looking through the lattice.
10   My beloved speaks and says to me:
  “Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
11   for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
12   The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
  and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
13   The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
  Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.
14   O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the crannies of the cliff,
  let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice,
  for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.
15   Catch the foxes for us,
    the little foxes
  that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.”
16   My beloved is mine, and I am his;
    he grazes among the lilies.
17   Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
  turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle
    or a young stag on cleft mountains.

3:1   On my bed by night
  I sought him whom my soul loves;
    I sought him, but found him not.
  I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
  I will seek him whom my soul loves.
    I sought him, but found him not.
  The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city.
  “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
  Scarcely had I passed them
    when I found him whom my soul loves.
  I held him, and would not let him go
    until I had brought him into my mother’s house,
    and into the chamber of her who conceived me.
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
  that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.

  What is that coming up from the wilderness
    like columns of smoke,
  perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
    with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
  Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
  Around it are sixty mighty men,
    some of the mighty men of Israel,
  all of them wearing swords
    and expert in war,
  each with his sword at his thigh,
    against terror by night.
  King Solomon made himself a carriage
    from the wood of Lebanon.
10   He made its posts of silver,
    its back of gold, its seat of purple;
  its interior was inlaid with love
    by the daughters of Jerusalem.
11   Go out, O daughters of Zion,
    and look upon King Solomon,
  with the crown with which his mother crowned him
    on the day of his wedding,
    on the day of the gladness of his heart.

He

4:1   Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
    behold, you are beautiful!
  Your eyes are doves
    behind your veil.
  Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
  Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
    that have come up from the washing,
  all of which bear twins,
    and not one among them has lost its young.
  Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
    and your mouth is lovely.
  Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
  Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built in rows of stone;
  on it hang a thousand shields,
    all of them shields of warriors.
  Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle,
    that graze among the lilies.
  Until the day breathes
    and the shadows flee,
  I will go away to the mountain of myrrh
    and the hill of frankincense.
  You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.
  Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
    come with me from Lebanon.
  Depart from the peak of Amana,
    from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
  from the dens of lions,
    from the mountains of leopards.
  You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
    you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,
    with one jewel of your necklace.
10   How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
    How much better is your love than wine,
    and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
11   Your lips drip nectar, my bride;
    honey and milk are under your tongue;
    the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12   A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
    a spring locked, a fountain sealed.
13   Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
    with all choicest fruits,
    henna with nard,

Luke 22:54–62

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

Psalm 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

3:1   O LORD, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
  many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
  But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
  I cried aloud to the LORD,
    and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
  I lay down and slept;
    I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
  I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
    who have set themselves against me all around.
  Arise, O LORD!
    Save me, O my God!
  For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.
  Salvation belongs to the LORD;
    your blessing be on your people! Selah

Proverbs 21:4–8

  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
  The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.

Wed 22 September, 2021


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