Stumbling

‘You will all stumble in your faith on account of Me.’ Matthew 26:31 NCV

On the night before His death, Jesus made this announcement: ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: “I will strike the Shepherd, and the… flock will be scattered.” But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’ (Matthew 26:31–32 NKJV) Think about it! If the disciples who had spent over three years walking and talking with Jesus, hearing His messages and seeing His miracles could stumble, then any of us can. ‘You will all stumble.’

But the promise was lost on Peter. ‘Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.’ (Matthew 26:33 NKJV) This was not one of Peter’s finer moments. ‘Even if all…’ Arrogant. ‘I will never be made to stumble.’ Self-sufficient. Peter’s trust was in Peter’s strength. Yet Peter’s strength would peter out. Jesus knew it: ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’ (Luke 22:31–32 NKJV)

Satan would attack and test Peter. But Satan would never claim him. Why? Because Peter was strong? No—because Jesus was. ‘I have prayed for you.’ And here’s a wonderful truth—Jesus prays for you too: ‘Father, You have given Me Your name; now protect them by the power of Your name… I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me.’ (John 17:11, 20 NLT)

Will God answer Christ’s prayer on your behalf? What do you think? Of course He will!

SoulFood: Song of Sol 5–8, Luke 22:63–71, Ps 39, Pr 21:9–13

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 5–8

He

5:1   I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
    I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
    I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
    I drank my wine with my milk.

Others

  Eat, friends, drink,
    and be drunk with love!

She

  I slept, but my heart was awake.
  A sound! My beloved is knocking.
  “Open to me, my sister, my love,
    my dove, my perfect one,
  for my head is wet with dew,
    my locks with the drops of the night.”
  I had put off my garment;
    how could I put it on?
  I had bathed my feet;
    how could I soil them?
  My beloved put his hand to the latch,
    and my heart was thrilled within me.
  I arose to open to my beloved,
    and my hands dripped with myrrh,
  my fingers with liquid myrrh,
    on the handles of the bolt.
  I opened to my beloved,
    but my beloved had turned and gone.
  My soul failed me when he spoke.
  I sought him, but found him not;
    I called him, but he gave no answer.
  The watchmen found me
    as they went about in the city;
  they beat me, they bruised me,
    they took away my veil,
    those watchmen of the walls.
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    if you find my beloved,
  that you tell him
    I am sick with love.

Others

  What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    O most beautiful among women?
  What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    that you thus adjure us?

She

10   My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
    distinguished among ten thousand.
11   His head is the finest gold;
    his locks are wavy,
    black as a raven.
12   His eyes are like doves
    beside streams of water,
  bathed in milk,
    sitting beside a full pool.
13   His cheeks are like beds of spices,
    mounds of sweet-smelling herbs.
  His lips are lilies,
    dripping liquid myrrh.
14   His arms are rods of gold,
    set with jewels.
  His body is polished ivory,
    bedecked with sapphires.
15   His legs are alabaster columns,
    set on bases of gold.
  His appearance is like Lebanon,
    choice as the cedars.
16   His mouth is most sweet,
    and he is altogether desirable.
  This is my beloved and this is my friend,
    O daughters of Jerusalem.

Others

6:1   Where has your beloved gone,
    O most beautiful among women?
  Where has your beloved turned,
    that we may seek him with you?

She

  My beloved has gone down to his garden
    to the beds of spices,
  to graze in the gardens
    and to gather lilies.
  I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
    he grazes among the lilies.

He

  You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
    lovely as Jerusalem,
    awesome as an army with banners.
  Turn away your eyes from me,
    for they overwhelm me—
  Your hair is like a flock of goats
    leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
  Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
    that have come up from the washing;
  all of them bear twins;
    not one among them has lost its young.
  Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
    behind your veil.
  There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
    and virgins without number.
  My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
    the only one of her mother,
    pure to her who bore her.
  The young women saw her and called her blessed;
    the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.
10   “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
    beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
    awesome as an army with banners?”

She

11   I went down to the nut orchard
    to look at the blossoms of the valley,
  to see whether the vines had budded,
    whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
12   Before I was aware, my desire set me
    among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince.

Others

13   Return, return, O Shulammite,
    return, return, that we may look upon you.

He

  Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
    as upon a dance before two armies?
  7:1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
    O noble daughter!
  Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
    the work of a master hand.
  Your navel is a rounded bowl
    that never lacks mixed wine.
  Your belly is a heap of wheat,
    encircled with lilies.
  Your two breasts are like two fawns,
    twins of a gazelle.
  Your neck is like an ivory tower.
  Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
    by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
  Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
    which looks toward Damascus.
  Your head crowns you like Carmel,
    and your flowing locks are like purple;
    a king is held captive in the tresses.
  How beautiful and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, with all your delights!
  Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
  I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
  Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
  and your mouth like the best wine.

She

  It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
    gliding over lips and teeth.
10   I am my beloved’s,
    and his desire is for me.

11   Come, my beloved,
    let us go out into the fields
    and lodge in the villages;
12   let us go out early to the vineyards
    and see whether the vines have budded,
  whether the grape blossoms have opened
    and the pomegranates are in bloom.
  There I will give you my love.
13   The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
    and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
  new as well as old,
    which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

8:1   Oh that you were like a brother to me
    who nursed at my mother’s breasts!
  If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
    and none would despise me.
  I would lead you and bring you
    into the house of my mother—
    she who used to teach me.
  I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    the juice of my pomegranate.
  His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
  I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.
  Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
    leaning on her beloved?
  Under the apple tree I awakened you.
  There your mother was in labor with you;
    there she who bore you was in labor.
  Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm,
  for love is strong as death,
    jealousy is fierce as the grave.
  Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    the very flame of the LORD.
  Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
  If a man offered for love
    all the wealth of his house,
    he would be utterly despised.

Others

  We have a little sister,
    and she has no breasts.
  What shall we do for our sister
    on the day when she is spoken for?
  If she is a wall,
    we will build on her a battlement of silver,
  but if she is a door,
    we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

She

10   I was a wall,
    and my breasts were like towers;
  then I was in his eyes
    as one who finds peace.
11   Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
    he let out the vineyard to keepers;
    each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12   My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
    you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
    and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.

He

13   O you who dwell in the gardens,
    with companions listening for your voice;
    let me hear it.

She

14   Make haste, my beloved,
    and be like a gazelle
  or a young stag
    on the mountains of spices.

Luke 22:63–71

63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

Psalm 39

To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

39:1   I said, “I will guard my ways,
    that I may not sin with my tongue;
  I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
    so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
  I was mute and silent;
    I held my peace to no avail,
  and my distress grew worse.
    My heart became hot within me.
  As I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:
  “O LORD, make me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting I am!
  Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
  Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
    Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
  Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
  “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
    My hope is in you.
  Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
  I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.
10   Remove your stroke from me;
    I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11   When you discipline a man
    with rebukes for sin,
  you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
    surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah
12   “Hear my prayer, O LORD,
    and give ear to my cry;
    hold not your peace at my tears!
  For I am a sojourner with you,
    a guest, like all my fathers.
13   Look away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more!”

Proverbs 21:9–13

  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10   The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11   When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12   The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13   Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.

Thu 23 September, 2021


CALENDAR
Select a specific day

Post Date

September 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Recent Articles

Jots and Tittles: Hanukkah

Hanukkah—also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication—is still celebrated today. It’s an annual event and it goes for eight days. It commemorates a great victory and a wondrous miracle.

Switchfoot: United Through Music

Being part of a successful band for twenty-four years is a rare achievement, but Chad Butler from Switchfoot has lived that reality. There have been many highlights over the years, and while he admits that the experience has been a gift, it’s also a wild ride.

The Sations

It was a quiet night in watching Netflix that prompted Dom, wife Laura and Dom’s sister Rachel to form their band, ‘The Sations.’ Dom says he and Laura wanted to try something different, so they invited Rachel to join them and decided to try writing a song.

Truth to Stand On

Leanna Crawford shares a bit of her journey and how God led her to becoming a singer and songwriter.

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.