Psalm of the Day: Psalm 38
Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 22:16-30
Scripture Reading: Luke 4:14-22
These verses relate events which are only recorded in the Gospel of Luke. They describe the first visit which our Lord paid after entering on His public ministry to the city of Nazareth, where He had been brought up. Taken together with the two verses which immediately follow, they furnish an solemnly striking proof that "the carnal mind is enmity against God." (Romans 8:7)
We should observe, in these verses what honor our Lord Jesus Christ gave to public means of grace. We are told that "He went into the synagogue of Nazareth on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read" the Scriptures. In the days when our Lord was on earth, the Scribes and Pharisees were the chief teachers of the Jews. We can hardly suppose that a Jewish synagogue enjoyed much of the Spirit's presence and blessing under such teaching. Yet even then we find our Lord visiting a synagogue, and reading and preaching in it. It was the place where His Father's day and word were publicly recognized and, as such, He thought it good to do it honor.
We need not doubt that there is a practical lesson for us in this part of our Lord's conduct. He would have us know that we are not lightly to forsake any assembly of worshipers which professes to respect the name, the day, and the book of God. There may be many things in such an assembly which might be done better. There may be a deficiency of fullness, clearness, and distinctness in the doctrine preached. There may be a lack of unction and devoutness in the manner in which the worship is conducted. But so long as no positive error is taught, and there is no choice between worshiping with such an assembly, and having no public worship at all it befits a Christian to think much before he stays away. If there are but two or three in the congregation who meet in the name of Jesus there is a special blessing promised. But there is no like blessing promised to him who tarries alone at home.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me realize the importance you place on worshipping together with the local church (the people not the building).
Action Plan: Evaluate how much value I place on meeting with other Christians for worship. How can I value the church as much as God?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.