Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Reading 1 - 2Ch 25:6-9
"(Amaziah] also hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him and said, 'O king, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the LORD is not with Israel -- not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.
"Amaziah asked the man of God, 'But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?' The man of God replied, 'The LORD can give you much more than that' " (2Ch 25:6-9).
"A very important question this seemed to be to the king of Judah, and possibly it is of even more weight with the tried and tempted Christian. To lose money is at no times pleasant, and when principle involves it, the flesh is not always ready to make the sacrifice. 'Why lose that which may be so usefully employed? What shall we do without it? Remember the children, and our small income!' All these things and a thousand more would tempt the Christian to put forth his hand to unrighteous gain, or stay himself from carrying out his conscientious convictions, when they involve serious loss. All men cannot view these matters in the light of faith; and even with the followers of Jesus, the doctrine of 'we must live' has quite sufficient weight.
" 'The Lord is able to give thee much more than this' is a very satisfactory answer to the anxious question. Our Father holds the purse-strings, and what we lose for His sake He can repay a thousand-fold. It is ours to obey His will, and we may rest assured that He will provide for us. The Lord will be no man's debtor at the last. Saints know that a grain of heart's-ease is of more value than a ton of gold. He who wraps a threadbare coat about a good conscience has gained a spiritual wealth far more desirable than any he has lost. Let the worst come to the worst, let all the talents go, we have not lost our treasure, for that is above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Meanwhile, even now, the Lord maketh the meek to inherit the earth, and no good thing doth He withhold from them that walk uprightly" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 2 - Dan 6:7,10
"The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den... Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before" (Dan 6:7,10).
"He knew the penalty. Was he foolhardy? Why couldn't he have taken care not to be seen? Why couldn't he have closed the lattice window, which is so pointedly mentioned as being open? Wouldn't common prudence have demanded at least that? God could hear just as well with it shut.
"But why SHOULD he hide? Why should he be ashamed or afraid? Who has supreme power, God or man? Naaman the Syrian said (2Ki 5:18): 'When I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant this thing.' But Daniel was a man of different stamp. Why should he temporise and interrupt his communion with God at the whim of a heathen monarch? It was no sin to pray; it was his duty. And if he intended to pray, why should he hide it?
"He could not have faithfully followed any other course. His allegiance to God was on trial, and he faced the issue squarely. He did not go out of his way to flout the king's commandment. He merely ignored it, and followed his usual custom of worship, scorning subterfuge" (GVG).
Reading 3 - Acts 5:41
"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name" (Act 5:41).
They were... "Worthy of disgrace!" "Dignified by indignity!" "Honored by shame!" "Exalted by suffering!" What extraordinary paradoxes.
"The picture of our Lord's humiliation also inspires courage, for if we are unfashionable and poor, and subject to divers kinds of deprivations on account of our making the ancient Gospel and the ancient hope our hobby, we know that we are only having our turn of the experience that embittered the earthly days of the Captain of our salvation; and to take part in such a fellowship makes us bold. Do we not feel like Peter? 'Lord, I am ready to go with Thee unto prison and unto death.' Peter failed in the first trial; but afterwards, he went both to prison and to death for Christ's sake, and was of those who 'rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name' " (Robert Roberts, "Seasons of Comfort" 168,169).
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal 6:14).
"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Phi 3:10).