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All The Good Seed Daily Devotionals at a glance

Below is a compilation of the more recent The Good Seed daily devotionals on one page

 

October 19, 2020

If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success.
Ecclesiastes 10:10

God sometimes expresses His thoughts in His Word in...
God sometimes expresses His thoughts in His Word in abstract terms. He often takes an example from people’s practical, everyday life to teach a spiritual lesson. This is the case with today’s verse. Whoever has worked with an axe knows how true the statement in the text is.

But what is the spiritual instruction that God intends for us here?

Let us apply this verse to our life of faith. It would not be wise for a woodcutter to take a blunt axe into the forest. But what about going to our day’s work without praying and reading a passage from the Bible? That is just as unwise.

We sometimes wonder why tasks at work, in the house, at school or college are so hard or tiresome. We want to give of our best for our employer, teacher or even as a testimony for God. Could the reason be that the day started badly? Omitting to commend ourselves to God for His help and preservation and getting no spiritual food first thing is like starting work with a blunt axe.

Let us begin the day in practical fellowship with the Lord Jesus, the source of strength. It will make all the difference to the way we tackle the things we have to do.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14 · Psalm 86:9-17
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, October 19, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 18, 2020

Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples, and looking at Jesus as he walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God! The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
John 1:35-37

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (13)
It would do us good, if we took the time regularly in our daily life to contemplate the Person and life of Jesus, observing carefully and prayerfully how beauty and excellence, friendliness and warmth, kindness and gentleness, holiness and love marked every step of His pathway through this world of sin and sorrow. It would affect our relationship to Him, just as John exclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God!” We should feel drawn to this wonderful Person and hardly be able to retain our impressions for ourselves.

This time John said little about Jesus – less than the previous time, when he added: “who takes away the sin of the world” (v. 29).When we witness for Jesus, our Saviour and Lord, it is not a matter of how extensively we speak of Him. Our love towards Him is the decisive thing. Nothing will convince our fellow citizens more than words that express our personal joy and affection.

It was so on this occasion. John’s two disciples were clearly so impressed by John’s statement that they changed their allegiance. From then on they followed Jesus. Did John regard them as deserters? Certainly not! He did not consider his own reputation to be important. His motto was: “No-one but Jesus only” (Matthew 17:8).

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 12:20-41 · Psalm 86:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, October 18, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 17, 2020

I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. … Therefore choose life that … you … may live.
Deuteronomy 30:15.19

No man like Him
The gospels relate the life of Jesus Christ. His character and His sayings often disturbed His contemporaries, but many of them testified that this Man was different from others.

“No man ever spoke like this man” (John 7:46). Every saying of Jesus is of unique, permanent and divine import, which makes it necessary to pay attention to it. Everyone can understand what He said, and everyone is called on to pay heed to and obey His words. They address man’s problems and questions, which are the same today as in His time. They are always relevant. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

No man ever lived like this man! There was perfect harmony between Jesus’ sayings and His behaviour; nothing was out of line. Although He was God, He lived humbly like a man. For more than three years prayer, preaching the good news and His countless, kind miracles characterised His public life, besides confirming His deity.

No man ever loved like this man! His love surpassed all that we can imagine. Jesus came to save the lost, who were slaves of sin. Out of love He allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross. He sacrificed His life as an offering to appease God’s wrath towards sinners. Today God still offers forgiveness and grants eternal life to all who believe.

I know this unique Person: He is my Saviour, Jesus, the Son of God.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 12:1-19 · Psalm 85:1-14
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, October 17, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 16, 2020

I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. … Therefore choose life that … you … may live.
Deuteronomy 30:15.19

The story is told of a professor who travelled to...
The story is told of a professor who travelled to Dublin to take part in a congress. He arrived in the city very late. Worried that he might miss the opening speech, he jumped into a cab and told the cabman: “Be as quick as you can. I’m in a hurry! Get going!” The cabman gave his horses the command, and the carriage rolled through the streets with the horses galloping wildly.

It suddenly occurred to the professor that he had not told the cabman his destination. So he shouted to him, “Do you know where I want to go?” – “How can I?” he retorted laughing, “But we’re going at a gallop, as you said!” He seemed to be a crafty type. Who knows where he might have taken his passenger?

What about ourselves? Do we know where our life’s journey is taking us? Do we know the destination, or do we continue aimlessly day by day? The Bible, the Word of God, leaves us in no doubt that there are only two possible destinations: heaven or hell, eternal life or eternal torment. God leaves us the choice, as He did the Israelites: “life and good, death and evil”. We have to choose. Whoever wants heaven to be his goal must come to the Lord Jesus Christ now. He will save such and reconcile them with God. It is only through conversion to God and faith in His Son Jesus Christ that we obtain the “citizenship” of heaven in the glory of God and thus reach the destination we desire.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 11:1-47 · Psalm 84:1-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, October 16, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 15, 2020

Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
Psalm 130:2

Which of us does not know the feeling of loneliness...
Which of us does not know the feeling of loneliness? If we come home, and the person we love is not there. … If we stroll through the streets of a big city and find no-one who loves us and whom we can trust. … If we stand by an open grave and know that the one whose mortal remains have just been laid to rest will never return.

The agony can be very oppressive, and many a person thinks: “Has life any sense for me any more? Why must I remain here alone? Why can’t I find someone who really loves me and whom I can trust and rely on?”

Are we really alone? It may seem so, but there is One who is prepared to take care of us: almighty God, who is truly ever present. Have we overlooked Him until now, “though he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27)? Just try speaking to the almighty Creator of all things, before that terrible depressing loneliness comes over you.

Thank Him for loving you. Tell Him just what your trouble is. Ask Him to show you how much you have to thank Him for despite all your need. Tell Him everything in your life that He cannot approve of, as you well know, and ask His forgiveness.

Then read your Bible, especially the gospels. Pay attention to what is recorded of the Lord Jesus Christ, and speak to God about it. You will then discover that whoever knows God is not alone.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 10:1-14 · Psalm 83:10-19
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, October 15, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 14, 2020

Shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1 Corinthians 8:11

Our relationship to fellow Christians
Certain brothers or sisters can sometimes be overlooked or even ignored. They may not be noticed in the crowd, or are often in the back rows, where they are apparently of less importance than others. Today’s verse stresses their importance: it ennobles and dignifies them.

Let us imagine a pair of scales: on one side we see the brother, on the other we read, “for whom Christ died.” How precious, how significant that is! Christ died for that brother! What esteem, what respect lies in these words!

If I realise that the brother is so honoured and distinguished in this way, won’t that have an effect on my relationship to him? Will it change the way I regard him? Christ died for him! If my Lord paid such a price for my brother, who am I to overlook him or treat him disparagingly?

In the context of today’s verse the brother was weak, perhaps sensitive, easily offended, suffering verbal attacks, or one who is not yet so grounded in the faith. Shouldn’t we think of our own weaknesses, or what offends us? In certain situations we are just as sensitive, and we, too, have our weaknesses.

Let us learn to be more considerate and deal with one another with more feeling, knowing that my opposite number is my brother or my sister, “for whom Christ died”! If I can evaluate my brother and my sister in this light, then I see Christ in them.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 9:1-44 · Psalm 83:1-9
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, October 14, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 13, 2020

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10

At the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924...
At the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 the Scotsman Eric Liddell (1902-1945) won two medals, first the bronze over 200 metres; a few days later he was in the final of the 400 metres. It was not his distance, but he won the gold medal in world record time: 47.6 seconds. As a result he became the most famous sportsman of his time in Scotland.

During the following weeks many wanted to see and hear him. At one of these meetings he said at the end of his speech: “Before I sit down, I must tell you something. It was a wonderful experience participating in the Olympic Games and bringing a gold medal back home. But since my childhood I have set my sight on another prize. As you know, each of us has a more important race to run than the one I had in Paris. The race of our life ends when God hands over the medals. I have always wanted to be a missionary and have just learned that I can emigrate to China. From now on I shall devote all my energy to this work.”

His listeners, and the whole country, were speechless. Scotland’s greatest athlete was giving up running to become a missionary!

Eric Liddell knew that God would judge his life. God’s verdict was important to him: he lived for it. For what or for whom do I devote my energy? At the end of his life the apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7.8).

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 8:1-40 · Psalm 82:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, October 13, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 12, 2020

He (Jesus Christ) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.
John 1:10.11

Indifference and rejection
The Son of God entered His own creation as a human being. Here on earth He lived in a world that wanted nothing to do with God. Many people did not even know who the Man Jesus Christ was because of the distance separating them from God. They had not noticed that the Creator Himself had come seeking contact with them. And when He told them who He was, they did not hide their unwillingness to accept Him.

What must the Lord Jesus have felt, being treated so nonchalantly by His creatures! He had been sent into the world by God as the Saviour, but that meant nothing to the majority of people.

With His incarnation the Son of God came to “His own”, i.e. the people of Israel, who had an outward relationship to Him. He was born of a woman of this nation and was therefore an Israelite by birth. But His own people refused Him. Although so much in His life and ministry proved Him to be the promised Messiah, the Jews rejected Him. As time passed, their rejection became even more marked. Finally, what the people of Israel thought of Jesus Christ became evident: before Pilate, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

What pain rejection by His own people must have caused the Lord Jesus! He had done nothing but good among them. He had come to save them from their sins. But they repaid His love with hatred and enmity. Is it any different in the world today? How do you stand regarding the Saviour of the world?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 7:1-40 · Psalm 81:9-17
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, October 12, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 11, 2020

I did not know him, but he who sent me to baptise with water said to me, Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, this is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.
John 1:33.34

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (12)
When Jesus was baptised with water, something extra­ordinary happened: the Holy Spirit, a Person of the Godhead, descended on Him “like a dove”. This visible sign marked the start of Christ’s appearance in public and of His ministry. Just as priests, prophets and kings in Old Testament times had been anointed with oil at their initiation, so here we find the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Behold! My servant, … my elect one in whom my soul delights! I have put my spirit upon him” (ch. 42: v. 1).

The Old Testament often reports on washing, but baptism with water, as John practised it, was a new commission from God. In the foreseeable future a very different form of baptism was to take place: the baptism with the Holy Spirit happened ten days after Christ’s ascension in a house in Jerusalem where the believers had gathered. The apostle Paul sums up this unique event as follows: “By one Spirit we were all baptised into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free (1 Corinthians 12:13)

None was authorised to baptise with the Holy Spirit except the Son of God. But what is baptism with the Holy Spirit? It is not the transforming power of the Holy Spirit effective in the new life of a believer (cf. John 3:5). Baptism with the Holy Spirit took place on a single occasion, but all who have come to Christ by faith since Pentecost have a share in it. Together they form the body of Christ, the church of God, a living organism.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 6:33-66 · Psalm 81:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, October 11, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 10, 2020

By the grace of God he (Jesus) should taste death for everything.
Hebrews 2:9 (J.N.D.)

The grace of God and its foundation
The grace of God seeks and saves the greatest sinner. Grace makes no distinction between people who are outwardly decent and thieves, adulterers, burglars, liars, or whatever they might be (Romans 3:22-24).

So long as we designate ourselves as upright and good, we are annoyed that grace makes no difference. We cannot understand such grace and wonder how God can show grace and turn a blind eye to such wickedness.

The answer is: He doesn’t! God’s grace has a firm foundation: He overlooks no case of sin, because Christ tasted death for everything.

God does not close His eyes to facts or reality. He knows the “sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). He Himself pronounced the sentence for sin: death! And He carried it out on His own Son: Christ died for us and our sins on the cross. But through His death He vanquished the devil and freed all who believe on Him from the devil’s power (Hebrews 2:14.15).

Christ “tasted death”. He paid our debt. We should have suffered judgment, not Christ, for He was “the holy one and the just” (Acts 3:14).He died for us voluntarily, and did so “by the grace of God”. For this reason grace is the means by which God’s forgiveness and riches can now be offered and granted to all, to even the greatest sinner.

It is well worth considering these significant words:

By the grace of God Jesus tasted death for everything.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 5:27-6:32 · Psalm 80:9-20
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, October 10, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 9, 2020

I spoke to you, … but you did not hear. Come to me, hear, and your soul shall live.
Jeremiah 7:13; Isaiah 55:3

Turning a deaf ear
It was raining. A 15-year-old boy’s bicycle was standing out in the garden. His father called him and asked him to put it under cover. When the father returned home in the evening, the cycle was still in the garden.

The head of a department in a firm reminded a colleague that a task had to be carried out urgently. The colleague nodded agreement, but the next day the work had still not been carried out.

Were the son and the colleague in the wrong? Undoubtedly! Both the father and the departmental head had a position of responsibility that gave them authority. If they gave commands, they did so according to their responsibility, not to degrade anyone. Was the son’s or the colleague’s freedom to act limited by the orders given? To a certain extent, yes, but only within a sphere of which they were fully aware. No firm can function without appropriate leadership, and no child can grow up responsibly without benevolent and just guidance.

Our omnipotent God wishes to instruct all for their good. He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. It is our duty to attend to what God expects of us. He speaks with authority, but also out of love. For the present time He gives us the simple, clear order to repent and turn to Him: He “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

How do we react? Do we turn a deaf ear, or do we trust Him and His wisdom and love?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 5:1-26 · Psalm 80:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, October 9, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 8, 2020

This man (Christ), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever sat down at the right hand of God. … For by one offering he has perfected for ever those who are being sanctified.
Hebrews 10:12.14

The cry of the dying Saviour, “It is finished!” as...
The cry of the dying Saviour, “It is finished!” as we read in the gospel of John announces full salvation. The insurmountable cleft between sinful man and our holy God was finally bridged at the cross.

This cry also confirms God’s acceptance of the atoning death of His Son on the cross by His raising Him from among the dead. God shows that, on His side, all has been accomplished, then has salvation preached and waits for our response. Each one of us must decide:

Is it doubt that hinders me, possibly under a cloak of humility, but in the final instance proves to be distrust of God?

Or is it pride that refuses to be subject to God?

Is my response presumptuousness – wanting to validate my good intentions and efforts before God, assuming that the work of Christ is insufficient?

Is it indifference? Many are so absorbed in momentary problems that they lose any sense of guilt before God. So, not wishing to commit themselves, they postpone making a decision.

Or have I truly the faith to simply accept God’s verdict on us and what He states concerning Christ – faith that is subject to God, and brings forth worship with thanksgiving?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 4:1-43 · Psalm 79:8-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, October 8, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 7, 2020

If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads.
Luke 13:27.30

The Old Testament speaks of the Lord Jesus in...
The Old Testament speaks of the Lord Jesus in various ways, both directly and indirectly, sometimes through statements, sometimes by means of symbols, for which God uses persons or objects that present His Son to us in His beauty.

The meal offering presents the Lord Jesus symbolically, living as a Man on earth and glorifying God perfectly in all things. The meal offering generally consisted of fine flour, oil and frankincense, or it was prepared from fine flour and oil using the heat of the fire in various ways. The heat of the fire sets forth something of the sorrows that He suffered during His life on God’s behalf and for righteousness.

Today’s verse speaks of a different type of meal offering. It consisted not of fine flour but of the firstfruits of the land. The corn of Canaan depicts the glorified Lord in heaven in type. It was the new kind of food of the people after entering the land under Joshua’s leadership (cf. Joshua 5:11.12).

Today we can obtain spiritual strength and refreshment from the contemplation of the glorified Son of man in heaven. He has remained true Man, but the time of His testing as “fine flour” is over. The grain is not now ground to flour; nor is it alone as an ear of corn. “Roasted on the fire”, the corn reminds us of the work accomplished for ever on earth.

Can our hearts sometimes be so filled with the glorified One in heaven that we feel compelled to bring a meal offering of this character before our God?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 3:1-24 · Psalm 79:1-7
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 6, 2020

He will say, I tell you, I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. … Indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.
Luke 13:27.30

“He’s in the newspaper!”
An elderly lady used to read nothing but the obituary notices in the newspaper. It was the age of the deceased, compared with her own, that interested her above all. In her mind she then made some calculations and estimated her expectation of life. When she came across the name of an acquaintance, she remarked, “He’s in the newspaper!

While the headlines on the first page of the newspaper bring important or sensational news items, the obituary page reminds us that every day a host of people quit this earth for ever, mostly for common reasons like illness or old age. But their death is always the consequence of the plague that has afflicted mankind since he was banished from the garden of Eden: sin.

Who is prepared for this final departure? We fear that not many are ready to appear before the “Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25). They drift along without God or Jesus Christ and without believing the gospel and being converted. And it is not always people who are conspicuous through their reprehensible life. To this large crowd belong honourable people who have rejected the salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ.

If at a marriage ceremony one of the couple remains silent when a definite positive statement is expected, the marriage cannot take place. However hesitantly If a name is “in the newspaper”, it does not automatically mean that it is also recorded in “the book of life” that God keeps (cf. Revelation 21:27).

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 2:1-55 · Psalm 78:65-72
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, October 6, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 5, 2020

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.
Isaiah 55:6

Neither yes nor no
Several people have the habit of evading an issue when they have to take a stand on a matter, or state an opinion or make a decision. They wish to remain neutral and preserve their independence. So they always seek to steer a middle course by not coming down on one side: they thus avoid risking their reputation.

Whether that is shirking one’s responsibility or showing wisdom in interpersonal affairs we leave open. When it is a question of our eternal salvation, however, evasion is utter foolishness. Not deciding means taking the greatest possible risk.

What is your choice? For whom do you decide? Jesus Christ said, “He who is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30). In view of the cross where the Son of God died, neutrality is not possible. Neither yes nor no in fact means no!

If at a marriage ceremony one of the couple remains silent when a definite positive statement is expected, the marriage cannot take place. However hesitantly or quietly the necessary assent is spoken, it must be heard by the registrar.

For the salvation of our souls a distinct and definite “yes” is necessary to establish a permanent relationship between ourselves and Jesus Christ. It is a decision that will never be regretted. Won’t you give this so necessary positive answer today?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 1:1-54 · Psalm 78:54-64
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, October 5, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 4, 2020

Do you understand what you are reading? … How can I, unless someone guides me?The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Acts 8:30.31; John 6:63

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (11)
The Pharisees in Israel sought a prophet and longed for a king who would free them from the Roman occupational forces. But John presented them with the Lamb of God, a great contrast! Nothing was more urgent than solving the problem of their sins. For this purpose Jesus had come into the world.

Here John the Baptist stresses Jesus’ superiority for the third time. Although Jesus was born some months later than John, He was “before him”, because, as the Son of God, He was “in the beginning with God”. Clearly, John only realised who Jesus truly was at His baptism, although they were related through their mothers.

From the other three gospels we know why John baptised: he wished to arouse the people’s conscience, so that they repented. Here another reason is given. John baptised so as to make the people of Israel acquainted with the Son of God.

Jesus was baptised, although He had no need to be. He was perfect and free from sin or any taint. Therefore we find the unique appearance of the Holy Spirit descending on Him in the form of a dove at His baptism. It was nothing new for the Holy Spirit to come upon a person (as in Old Testament times), but remaining was totally new. From Pentecost believers were to receive the Holy Spirit indwelling them

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Ruth 4:1-22 · Psalm 78:34-53
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, October 4, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 3, 2020

Do you understand what you are reading? … How can I, unless someone guides me?The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Acts 8:30.31; John 6:63

What does it all mean?
Our readers are not always familiar with certain expressions. Here are some explanations:

Sin. Acting wrongly in the sight of God, our Creator. Sinning is leading one’s life as one wishes without considering God.

The conviction of sin. We experience this when our conscience accuses us, showing us that we are guilty before God. It often happens through reading the Bible

Repentance. A fundamental change in our attitude by regretting our disobedience towards God. We recognise that we deserve His judgment and wish to alter our way of life.

Repentance. A fundamental change in our attitude by regretting our disobedience towards God. We recognise that we deserve His judgment and wish to alter our way of life.

Confession. Admitting our faults before God, acknowledging our disobedience to His will.

Faith. Confidence in Jesus Christ, the Saviour given by God, who died, submitting to judgment in our stead, and whose resurrection proves that God accepts that justice has been done.

Conversion. A complete change of direction. Turning one’s back on a life apart from God and living henceforth with Him, listening to Him and obeying Him.

Forgiveness. God’s gracious act of wiping out the evil we have done, even if certain consequences of our actions are still evident.

New birth. Believing and receiving new life from God to become a child of God. And the Holy Spirit given to the believer is the power and the strength of this new life.

Today’s reading: Ruth 3:1-18 · Psalm 78:17-33
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, October 3, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 2, 2020

He chose us in him, … having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Ephesians 1:4.5

When I was five years old, my parents separated...
When I was five years old, my parents separated, and I was put into an orphanage. One day a married couple visited us, wanting to adopt a child. I saw them standing there choosing, and I hoped they would take me. I longed for a home, a father and a mother. But they took someone else.

Years passed. Many couples came and made their choice, and I always remained behind. I still hope and longed fervently: I wanted to belong somewhere. But nobody wanted me. Once I asked the housemother, “Won’t anyone have me?” she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know. Perhaps they will one day.” But it never happened.

When I grew older, I went into other homes: hostels, transitional lodgings, places of detention. Now I have been in prison for many years. Here, for the first time ever I heard of Jesus. A preacher read the Bible with us and told us that God loves us.

I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and started to read the Bible. I soon found the passage: “chosen in him … and predestined to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ”. There I discovered that God has chosen me and accepted me as a son! Formerly no-one wanted me; now I belong to Him. With Him I have found a new home. Through the new birth I am now a child of God and belong to God’s family.

Today’s reading: Ruth 2:1-23 · Psalm 78:1-16
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, October 2, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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October 1, 2020

Those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, This is truly the prophet who is to come into the world.
John 6:14

What are we to think of the many miracles...
What are we to think of the many miracles that Jesus performed? All His life on earth multitudes followed Him around, because He healed so many sick persons. Many came through their desire to see a sensation, some out of a real interest.

On one occasion the Son of God provided for a huge multitude in the wilderness with only five loaves and two fishes. The apostle John describes it in this 6th chapter. Of course, such a small amount of food did not suffice for five thousand men. But Jesus Christ increased the loaves and fishes to such an extent that twelve baskets full of leftovers remained. The world had never seen such a thing before. Was it an optical illusion, magic or divine power? The biblical report shows this last to be the case. Read it and form your own judgment.

Finally the people’s reaction is described: they wanted to make Jesus their king. They clearly i­magined that they would never again have any need. They had really experienced the miracle. But they had not understood what the sign actually meant.

Their other conclusion, that Jesus was truly the prophet announced in the Old Testament fell short of the truth. He was more: He is the Son of God, who wishes to free people from their sins. But the majority refused to acknowledge that. Shortly afterwards the Son of God gave His life for lost mankind. And that is the question that addresses us all.

“These (signs) are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

Today’s reading: Ruth 1:1-22 · Psalm 77:11-21
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, October 1, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 30, 2020

God ... has ... spoken to us by his Son, ... through whom also he made the worlds, ... the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person.Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, ... that he, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Hebrews 1:1-3; 2.9

Can we really conceive what it meant for...
Can we really conceive what it meant for our Lord to come down from heaven into this terrible world? He, the Son of God, had been in the Father’s house and in the Father’s bosom from eternity.

God created the angels by His Son even before the earth. Innumerable angels waited for the slightest sign to obey His word and do what pleased Him. Seraphim cried out: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts”, as Isaiah reported when he “saw his glory and spoke of him” (Isaiah 6:3; John 12:41).

The Son came to us on earth from this scene of glory where everything was in harmony with Himself, where all is light and love and no darkness can be found and where God dwells in light unapproachable.

Here He had to live in an environment of sin, hatred and darkness, darkness so impenetrable that light could produce no change in the world. He who was light had to live here surrounded by moral darkness for 33 years, where everything stood in opposition to Him. Here He found only sin and hatred, no agreement with God on the part of His creatures, and neither love nor reverential treatment.

Yet He, who had been the object of the Father’s love and joy in heaven, entered this hostile scene, so that “he might taste death for everyone”. What amazing grace and unfathomable love!

Today’s reading: Judges 21:1-25 · Psalm 77:1-10
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, September 30, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 29, 2020

Christ … suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.
1 Peter 3:18; Acts 16:31

Two possibilities
Some young people on an excursion were sitting on a bench chatting happily. A woman who looked like a Romany passed by, and one of the group immediately called out: “Can you tell us our fortune?”

Surprised to be asked such a question, the woman answered nevertheless: “Certainly, I’ll be back in a moment!” On her return the young people made room for her on the bench. “You asked me to prophesy the future. With the aid of this book I can do so without deceiving you.” And she showed them a Bible.

“First I must tell you what you are before God:” She opened the book and read from chapter 3 of the epistle to the Romans:

‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one’ (vv. 10-12).

Then she continued: “And now to your future. There are only two possibilities: ‘He who believes in the Son (of God) has everlasting life’ (John 3:36). The other possibility is: ‘He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’” (John 3:18).

When she finished reading, she said no more. There was deep silence. The woman walked away. They had heard the Word of God and had to make their choice.

Today’s reading: Judges 20:1-48 · Psalm 76:1-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, September 29, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 28, 2020

He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7

As a lamb!
Today’s verse from the Bible makes it clear that two particular features characterise sheep: on the one hand, they are led to the slaughter without any resistance, and on the other, they remain absolutely silent when they are being shorn. These two characteristics distinguished the Lord Jesus when He was arrested, falsely accused and taken to Calvary to be crucified.

Although almighty as the Son of God, He allowed Himself to be bound and taken to the high priest’s house. He offered no resistance and admonished Peter, when he sought to intervene with his sword in order to release his Master. After the death sentence had been pronounced, Jesus permitted the Roman soldiers to take Him to Calvary, where they nailed Him to a cross as if He were a criminal.

Before the high priest many witnesses appeared to make false accusations to establish His guilt. He could easily have refuted all their untrue statements, but He kept silent. Even before the Roman judge the Saviour made no comment on the false charges made against Him. Pilate asked Him: “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But Jesus gave no answer, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

What humility and gentleness the Lord Jesus revealed in those trying hours, when man’s wickedness erupted so forcefully!

Today’s reading: Judges 19:1-30 · Psalm 75:1-11
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, September 28, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 27, 2020

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
John 1:29

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (10)
The first chapter of John’s gospel presents many names or titles of Jesus. He is the Word, the light and the only begotten Son of God. Now we get to know Him as the Lamb of God.

For the Jews of that time hardly any symbol was more familiar than that of the lamb. Two lambs were to be sacrificed daily in Israel: one every morning and evening. Of even greater importance was the lamb that had to be killed and eaten at the feast of the Passover. So how surprised the listeners must have been when they heard John exclaim “Behold! The Lamb of God!”

The countless animal sacrifices that were offered up before Christ’s advent could not take away a single sin (Hebrews 10:4). The sinless and spotless Lamb of God, however, takes away the sin of the world! What a far reaching consequence of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ! The final result will be the removal of every trace of sin from the world, when the first creation has passed away, and a new heaven and a new earth exist (cf. Revelation 21:1).

That will be in the distant future. Now we are contaminated by sin. But everyone can be relieved of his burden of sin and its bondage. This, too, demanded the atoning death of the Lamb of God. “Whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins” and “having been set free from sin … you have … everlasting life” (Acts 10:43; Romans 6:22). But we must be aware of this: although the loving work of Jesus at the cross has tremendous results, only those who personally lay claim to the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God have any share in them.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Judges 18:1-31 · Psalm 74:13-23
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, September 27, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 26, 2020

You visit the earth, and water it: you greatly enrich it ...; you provide their grain. ... The valleys also are covered with grain. – Give us seed, that we may live, and not die.
Psalm 65:9.13; Genesis 47:19

The sower went forth sowing...
The sower went forth sowing; The seed in secret slept Through weeks of faith and patience Till out the green blade crept; And warmed by golden sunshine And fed by silver rain, At last the fields were whitened To harvest once again. Oh, praise the heavenly Sower Who gave the fruitful seed, And watched and watered duly, And ripened for our need.

Behold, the heavenly Sower Goes forth with better seed, The word of sure salvation Our souls to God to lead. Here on this earth ‘tis scattered, Our spirits are the soil; Then let an ample fruitage Repay His pain and toil. Oh, beauteous is the harvest Wherein all goodness thrives,

And this the true thanksgiving, The firstfruit of our lives. One day the heavenly Sower Shall reap where He hath sown, And come again rejoicing, And with Him bring His own; And then the fan of judgment Shall winnow from His floor The chaff into the furnace That flameth evermore.

If you accept His verdict on your life and confess your sins to Him sincerely, He will forgive you. And if you believe in Jesus Christ who died for you on the cross, God will pronounce you free of your guilt.

Today’s reading: Judges 16:23-31 · Psalm 73:18-28
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, September 26, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 25, 2020

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

God’s grace is for you
Everyone has his own life’s history. We were all born into this world, had a more or less enjoyable childhood and youth and grew up to adulthood. We cannot know what course your life has taken up to the present time, whether you have been successful or not. But one thing we know from experience: without God no life can find true fulfilment.

From a certain age everyone of sound mind is responsible for what he does. That applies not only to our social existence but also with regard to God’s demands of His creatures. You, too, must account for your life before God. Perhaps you consider yourself a decent, upright person. God’s assessment of us is very different, however: “They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12). If you are honest with yourself, you will know how truly this applies to you, too. There is much that you have done that God cannot approve of.

You may now be surprised to hear this: although you have affronted God with the wrong in your life, He offers you His grace.

If you accept His verdict on your life and confess your sins to Him sincerely, He will forgive you. And if you believe in Jesus Christ who died for you on the cross, God will pronounce you free of your guilt.

Today’s reading: Judges 17:1-13 · Psalm 74:1-12
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, September 25, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 24, 2020

Him (i.e. Jesus) God raised up on the third day and showed him openly, not to all the people but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with him after he arose from the dead.
Acts 10:40.41

Secularisation (or: worldliness) in western countries is...
Secularisation (or: worldliness) in western countries is on the increase. Many people are resigning their church membership. On the other hand, educated persons and younger people often seek guidance in a religious or spiritual sphere.

What can give us proper guidance? To whom should we turn in our search for conclusive truth and for the sense and goal of our own life? God alone, or witnesses whom He has appointed, are the only ones able to verify what they say.

The apostles of Jesus Christ, whom He commissioned with the words: “You shall be witnesses to me … to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8) were such witnesses. We find their testimony recorded in the Bible, the Word of God. Peter, who spoke the words of the text above, added that Jesus “was ordained by God to be the judge of the living and the dead” and that “whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins” (vv. 42 &.43). That is the wonderful thing about God’s message for seekers: the Judge, before whom all must appear, and the Saviour are one Person. God now grants to whoever believes in Jesus Christ the forgiveness of sins and exemption from judgment. For this purpose Christ died on the cross as the atoning sacrifice.

“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

There is still time to find proper guidance.

Today’s reading: Judges 16:13-22 · Psalm 73:9-17
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, September 24, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH

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September 23, 2020

Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said, … I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.
Exodus 17:8.9

Amalek – a malicious enemy
The Amalekites attacked the people of Israel in the wilderness. They struck when the people were exhausted. Moreover, they had the rear ranks and all the stragglers particularly in view (cf. Deuteronomy 25:17.18).

Applying this to ourselves, it means that Satan knows our weak points, where we are easily vulnerable. Are you inclined to strive after riches or fame? Have you a weakness for the opposite sex? Then take care: that is where Satan is most likely to break through!

One thing makes the matter extremely dangerous: Satan has an ally – our old nature, which is just waiting to succeed in what our enemy has in mind.

In everyday life there are always moments when we are physically or mentally weary. If our power to resist has been weakened, Satan will endeavour to tempt us to sin. When we are tired we easily react angrily. If we have suffered a disappointment, we are more liable to be enticed to sin. And danger really threatens, if we have got away from the Lord Jesus and are following Him only at a distance.

Let us therefore maintain our fellowship with our Lord by reading the Bible and praying regularly. That will increase our power to resist the hostile attacks. And let us not forget that, just as Moses was on the mountain praying incessantly for Israel on that occasion, so, too, Jesus Christ intercedes for us in heaven. That is a great help in our struggle against the enemy.

Today’s reading: Judges 16:1-12 · Psalm 73:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, September 23, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 22, 2020

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:9.10

A sinner finds no acceptance with God for...
A sinner finds no acceptance with God for his own achievements, but solely by believing in Jesus Christ. The first chapters of the epistle to the Romans establish this fact clearly, as do today’s verses above. However, what is meant by “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation”?

God wants every Christian to testify his faith freely. The cry of a newborn baby indicates that a new, young life has begun. Similarly, the new birth of a person through faith in Jesus Christ cannot remain concealed.

Whoever has started a new life with the Lord Jesus Christ will share his joy with others. He will tell how much God has done for him (cf. Luke 8:39). He must not, however, count on being understood by all his family and acquaintances. Nevertheless it is good for him to witness frankly for Jesus. Then people will notice that his life’s objective and his standards have changed: Jesus Christ has become his Lord and Saviour. A frank confession of one’s conversion to Christ at the beginning of a life of faith is a great help in getting free from bad influences and habits of the past.

When God grants salvation, it is not only for heaven but also for life on earth. A public confession of Jesus Christ as one’s Lord contributes to the vast scope of salvation that God gives to believers.

Today’s reading: Judges 15:9-20 · 2 Corinthians 13:1-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, September 22, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 21, 2020

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:17

Who is God? And “what is his Son’s...
Who is God? And “what is his Son’s name?” (Proverbs 30:4). In their time the ancient writers of the Bible imagined that God has a Son. This quotation from the book of Proverbs proves it.

God “sent” His Son. It is not possible to send someone who does not exist. Doesn’t that indicate that the Son of God is eternal like God Himself?

Before His Son was born as a human being, God had decided on His Name: Jesus. The name means: the Lord is salvation. That was His intention, His task and His objective. God’s wish is to save. This message is emphasised repeatedly in our daily meditations.

Because Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He is the Son of God even as a Man (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35). People were after His life while He was still a child. Scripture provides little information about His youth. He began His public ministry, serving God and mankind at the age of about thirty.

The unique thing about His Person is that through His words and His selfless life we know what God is like. Let us make an unprejudiced comparison of our own life and our most noble intentions with His deeds. We shall quickly realise the difference.

The Son of God, who became Man, was eventually killed by His creatures by crucifixion outside the gates of Jerusalem. But death could not hold the Christ. By His resurrection He proved Himself to be “the Son of God with power” (Romans 1:4). His death and resurrection are the basis of salvation for all who receive the Son of God by faith.

Today’s reading: Judges 14:14-15:8 · 2 Corinthians 12:16-21
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, September 21, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 20, 2020

And they asked him saying, Why then do you baptise, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet? John answered them saying, I baptise with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. It is he who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptising.
John 1:25-28

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (9)
The priests and Levites sent by the Pharisees asked John who he was. None of their assumptions proved true: he was neither the promised Messiah Himself, nor Elijah, who, according to Malachi was to appear “before the coming of the … day of the LORD” (Malachi 4:5). , nor even the prophet of whom God told Moses: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren” (Deuteronomy 18:18). Who then had authorised John to baptise?

Aren’t we familiar with such a dispute? Today questions are often asked regarding baptism. And the questioners run the same danger as then: religious rites are considered important, but Jesus Christ is left out.

John sees that the priorities are put right: the water of baptism is a mere outward sign. That applied to his baptism of repentance and also to so-called christening today. What is decisive is what Jesus Christ means to us personally. For John He was the Son of God, deserving of all honour. In view of Christ’s glorious greatness he felt unworthy of the slightest service for Him, like undoing the strap of His sandals.

This all happened well away from the religious centre of the time. Until the present day Jesus is seeking everywhere those hearts prepared to receive Him.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Judges 14:1-13 · 2 Corinthians 12:11-15
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, September 20, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 18, 2020

Is not my word like a fire? says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Jeremiah 23:29

Mathilda, the prisoners’ friend
Here are some testimonies of Mathilda’s visits in the prisons:

Arksa: a violent murderer who claimed to be the worst bandit in Finland and was astonished that that frail girl entered his cell fearlessly; she sat down next to him and spoke about his village. He was disarmed by her simple affection, accepted the New Testament she offered him and promised to read it. The warders witnessed a radical change in his behaviour some time later.

Honka: sentenced to life imprisonment, he confessed to committing nothing but wickedness in his life. Mathilda thought of Jesus’ meeting with a woman who also confessed her sad past (John 4). So, like her Master, she asked the inmate for a drink. Seeing her place her lips on his dirty mug moved that man. “She was not ashamed of my condition.”

Matti: sneering when she opened her Bible, he defied her to find anything on the first page that concerned him. So she read: “The earth was waste and empty – that’s your heart, Matti – and God said, Let there be light!” Light gradually penetrated Matti’s soul.

God never forsook His ambassador in the presence of the prisoners and always gave her the word appropriate to the situation. All her life her motto remained: “Grace and peace” – the divine grace and peace that caused her happiness and that she insisted on sharing.

(concluded)

Today’s reading: Judges 13:1-10 · 2 Corinthians 11:22-33
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, September 18, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 17, 2020

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.Remember the prisoners as if chained with them.
John 3:16; Hebrews 13:3

Mathilda, the prisoners’ friend
Mathilda Wrede was born in Finland in 1864, the eleventh child of the family. Her mother died when she was only eight months old. Brought up by her grandmother and her aunt, she grew up on the estate of her father, the governor of the province. There the inmates of the neighbouring prison were often employed as servants.

She enjoyed watching the blacksmith at work. But one day she found him fixing chains to a prisoner’s ankles. She was upset to see the look of hatred on the man’s face for his warder. It was for ever impressed on her heart.

The child became a lively young lady, but the easy life she led did not satisfy her. One day she gave her heart to Jesus after hearing a preacher. Later, when she was about nineteen, she again met a prisoner repairing the lock on her door. She couldn’t refrain from telling him about her experience. The man listened and said when he left: “If only you could speak to us about this! We have so little to hope for!” Mathilda promised at once to come on the following Sunday. That was the start of the vocation of the person who became known as “the light of Finland’s prisons”. During a whole life of devotion and faith she visited prisons untiringly to speak of the goodness of her Saviour. Men and women deprived of their freedom could come to know God’s great love.

(to be concluded tomorrow)

Today’s reading: Judges 12:1-15 · 2 Corinthians 11:16-21
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, September 17, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 16, 2020

Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1.2

What ensues from justification?
Three consequences of justification are brought before us in these verses: we have peace with God, we stand in grace and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

We have peace with God. Our peace is based on the work of redemption accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. He has “made peace through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). Whoever has grasped this by faith is justified and comes into the enjoyment of this peace. He need no longer fear condemnation, knowing that the Lord Jesus suffered judgment for his guilt and bore his sins.

We stand in grace. This is our privilege: through grace we came into God’s favour. Those who were previously enemies of God are now accepted as sons. This relationship to God comes about through grace, not law. He sees us in His Son, Jesus Christ. So the believer can approach God in the full assurance of faith. He has unceasing access to God.

We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. That indicates our future. We shall one day enjoy God’s glory. In His prayer to His Father the Lord Jesus Himself expressed the wish that we should behold His glory (John 17:24). Hoping in this matter does not imply uncertainty, for God’s promises will certainly be fulfilled. Therefore we await future glory with joyful, praising hearts.

Today’s reading: Judges 11:23-40 · 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, September 16, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 15, 2020

To me … this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Ephesians 3:8

Genuine gold
I was standing as usual by my Bible stand at the market, offering people Bibles, gospels, other Christian literature and brochures. That morning a married couple suddenly stopped there. The husband said to me, “There is only one Person who can change our life.” His wife pointed to the part of the stand where the brochures entitled “Genuine gold” were on display. In this booklet verses of the Bible point out the way of salvation.

The husband told me how Jesus had freed him from his habits. He had been leading a miserable life as an incorrigible smoker and drinker. One day, while out walking, he had found “Genuine gold” lying on a stone, where someone had left it. He had read it several times and found the verses quoted were the answer to his soul’s deep needs. That is how he came to know the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

We cannot undo our past, nor free ourselves from the power of sin. We cannot earn a place in heaven either by money and gold or by good deeds. But in Jesus Christ there is indescribable wealth for the taking. His atoning blood can cancel out our sins. If we turn to Him, confessing them and believing in His atoning sacrifice, God gives us the assurance that He has forgiven us and grants us eternal life.

Whoever knows Jesus Christ as his Redeemer possesses inexhaustible riches. Won’t you accept this treasure that God is offering you today? Then you will know “the exceeding riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:7).

Today’s reading: Judges 11:1-22 · 2 Corinthians 10:12-18
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 14, 2020

Now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God.
John 8:40

“The truth can hurt, but it is the only way...
“The truth can hurt, but it is the only way to cure us.” This thought has been expressed in various ways, but nowhere is it so significant as in matters of faith. Jesus Christ always spoke the truth to people for this specific purpose: so that they might be “cured”. He wished to save them from sin and its punishment.

Jesus placed people before the mirror of divine truth, so that they recognised what they really were like. He told them bluntly where their objectives and their way of life were inconsistent with God’s will. No doubt it hurt them, but it was the starting-point for finding salvation in Christ.

The religious leaders of the people, the Pharisees and scribes, on the other hand, utterly rejected this beneficial process. One particular saying of Jesus applied so aptly to them: “Everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen that they have been done in God” (John 3:20.21). Finally those Pharisees planned to kill Jesus for telling them the truth.

Through the crucifixion of Jesus the truth about mankind in fact came to light even more clearly. Man who has fallen into sin is an enemy of God, even if God approaches him in His Son in “kindness and … love … toward man” (Titus 3:4).

Whoever willingly accepts the truth that God tells him concerning his life acknowledges God’s inconceivable love in giving His Son to be crucified for us.

Today’s reading: Judges 10:1-18 · 2 Corinthians 10:1-11
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, September 14, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 13, 2020

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? He said, I am not. Are you the prophet? And he answered, No. Then they said to him, Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said. Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.
John 1:19-24

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (8)
From the other three gospels we know that John the Baptist prepared the people for the Messiah. His call for repentance could not be overheard. The Pharisees were curious: who was this man? He had never been taught in their schools.

Profoundly impressed by Jesus Christ, John testified, “I am not the Christ.” We do not read of a direct question whether John was the promised Redeemer. John’s reply implied: “You have come to me, but I am not the One you need. I am not the Christ.” As a faithful witness He does not speak of himself. The more they ask, the shorter his replies become. “Are you Elijah?” – “I am not.” – “Are you the prophet?” – “No.”

John refused to assume a name to show greatness. He did not consider himself the forerunner of the Messiah. It was the Lord Himself, Jehovah, whom the Jews knew from the Old Testament, and who was about to appear. So John calls himself merely a “voice” that obediently passes on a message, but will soon be silent.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Judges 9:1-25 · 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, September 13, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 12, 2020

Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere.
Genesis 19:17

A magnificent panorama has opened up before...
A magnificent panorama has opened up before the artist’s eyes: bizarre formations of rocks tower up tower like silent witnesses of the constant attacks from the surge of the waves. After the artist has contemplated the scenery for a while, he looks for the best location to paint. He chooses one of the rocks, from which to produce a beautiful picture of the scene. He is soon at work, engrossed in his activity.

He does not notice, however, that the tide is rising slowly. Some smaller rocks are already under water. Twice he has been splashed by a high wave, but he is too absorbed in his work to notice.

Suddenly he hears a man on the cliff shouting; he is gesticulating wildly. The artist looks around and becomes conscious of the dangerous situation he is in. The rock on which he is sitting is already surrounded by water. He snatches all his equipment, jumps down and hurries through the rising water to the safety of firm land. When he reached his rescuer, he learned that that dangerous spot was called “the gate to hell”. Several careless persons had already been overtaken by the tide there and drawn to their death.

Isn’t it the case with so many people that, with their daily duties and occupation, they do not notice that they, too, are at the gate of hell, so to speak? They are sometimes aroused by illness or some other critical situation. That is God’s way of speaking to us. He wishes to warn us that we are in peril of being lost eternally, if we fail to receive the Saviour Jesus Christ into our hearts.

Today’s reading: Judges 9:1-25 · 2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, September 12, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 11, 2020

He restores my soul.
Psalm 23:3

David, the king of Israel, had times of...
David, the king of Israel, had times of blessing but also periods of grave danger. However, in every situation he experienced God’s preservation. Yet his faith was not always so strong that he could endure difficulties or defeats. Occasionally he lost courage when fleeing from Saul, because his trust in God failed.

David once said that he would be killed by Saul, despite the fact that through the prophet Samuel God had anointed him to become king. Discouraged, David fled with his six hundred companions to the Philistines, Israel’s enemies, which was not possible without feigning and lying.

The Amalekites then came from the south on a series of robberies. David and his men were forced to leave their refuge, and the Amalekites took their wives, children and possessions as booty. David’s companions were so embittered that they planned to stone their leader. But David strengthened himself in his God (1 Samuiel 30:6). In that trouble he again realised where he could find help. God gave him the courage and strength to overcome the Amalekites and regain everything.

Have you been distressed by hard circumstances, or had your faith shattered? Does everything seem to be against you, as if God has forsaken you? Don’t lose your confidence! Strengthen yourself in God. Remember what He has done for you. Read His Word: He wishes to refresh your soul. If your own self-will has brought you difficulties, confess it frankly to Him, including your weak faith. Renew your trust in God: He will grant you fresh strength.

Perhaps God is not your God. Then your trouble gives you the opportunity to turn to Him and be converted. Then you will be able to strengthen yourself in your God.

Today’s reading: Judges 8:18-35 · 2 Corinthians 8:9-15
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, September 11, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 10, 2020

There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no-one remembered that same poor man.
Ecclesiastes 9:14.15

This account could be entitled...
This account could be entitled “Ingratitude is the world’s reward”. A few thoughts on man’s forgetfulness could be added to close the matter.

What does it really mean? Simply this: the city is man’s soul, alone and unable to defend itself. The great king can be compared with Satan, ready to conquer and destroy. That is our situation. If only we would consider it! The inhabitants of the city were at least conscious of the danger, but they saw no possibility of deliverance.

There was, however, the poor, wise man, disregarded by people, yet who knew how to deliver the city. It is not only the case there. What people fail to notice and scorn often proves to be great for God. Even Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was despised by men. Yet for every believer He is “wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). He became poor, so that we “through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Nevertheless, most people in this world act as though Jesus Christ had never lived. Yet it is worth our remembering His love and His atoning death on the cross. For us it is vital! We must contemplate Him and His offer of salvation and accept it! There is no other way of salvation.

Today’s reading: Judges 8:1-17 · 2 Corinthians 8:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, September 10, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 9, 2020

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Psalm 122:1

How do children in our present age...
How do children in our present age regard Sunday? A questionnaire once produced the following answers: “Life is much too serious in the week; so on Sundays we have our fun”, said a ten-year-old. Another complained, “All the week I look forward to the weekend. And when it comes, my parents sit in the living-room, doing their accounts.” A 14-year-old girl described her wishes like this: “Going to church is supposed to be the most important thing at the weekend. But for me the most important thing is going out.”

These answers make us wonder how the children of believers feel about the Lord’s Day. And with what thoughts and feelings do we ourselves spend the best hours of the week?

David’s attitude above was exemplary: there was no hint of mere custom when he thought about God’s house. Going there caused him great joy, even though the revelation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ, was unknown to him.

That Sunday morning causes a lot of hectic and rush in the day’s routine for many families is well-known. Unsuitable words may easily be uttered between parents and children. But if the joy of meeting the Lord is uppermost for us, we shall be able to cope with stress situations better.

The Lord’s Day should be a joyful day for us. Christ rose again! He is alive and means everything to us. True joy in ourselves will be sensed by our children. Then attending the meetings will be a heartfelt wish rather than a duty.

Today’s reading: Judges 7:9-25 · 2 Corinthians 7:10-16
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, September 9, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 8, 2020

I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isaiah 13:11

Rapid progress in science and technology...
Rapid progress in science and technology; growing prosperity in the industrial nations; a social network covering many needs; decades of peace after the Second World War. All this is making mankind “haughty”. He thinks he has everything under control. Any thought of God is pushed into the background. His will is not sought, nor His verdict on good or evil. God is not wanted, and many assume that He does not exist.

For such pride God will call man to account. But He exercises patience, not wanting any to be lost but converted to Him. So he lets us feel some of the consequences of our pride. Technological progress is exploited for terrorist purposes. The age pyramid of the population is turning topsy-turvy. Prosperity and the effectiveness of the social network are in danger and causing dissatisfaction. Then there is armed conflict close by. Have we really everything under control? Or is God speaking to us?

Then something happens that is normally not over-exciting. A volcano erupts far away from us in Europe – in Iceland. Does it affect us? The cloud of ash reaches the continent of Europe and paralyses air traffic. Some hundred thousand flights are cancelled, and eight million passengers are stranded at airports for days on end.

Even in that cloud of ash, and in other interventions in our personal life, we can hear God’s voice admonishing us, not threatening, but warning of the coming judgment. Let us heed His warning!

Today’s reading: Judges 7:1-8 · 2 Corinthians 7:1-9
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, September 8, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 7, 2020

As I live, says the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?
Ezekiel 33:11

It was built to protect life, yet...
It was built to protect life, yet there is death at that very place! Despite security measures many marine birds are still killed through flying towards the light of a lighthouse. Lighthouses are built on the coast; their light shines by night and in storms. Birds fly against the windows so violently that they are thrown back into the waves and are washed up later on to the beach.

It sounds bitter and cruel: the birds lose their life for hitting something built to save life.

The gospel shines like the light of a lighthouse. God’s grace and love are revealed to bring ­people into a safe harbour, to Jesus Christ. Everyone could be saved, but many refuse the gospel. They resemble the birds: they stumble at God’s message, struggle against the light and are lost for eternity.

Maybe someone knows the good news of Jesus Christ very well; he has heard it or read it in the Bible. He possibly hears or sings hymns and almost certainly knows people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. But they themselves reject the gospel and are lost!

In the epistle to the Romans we read that the gospel is “the power of God to salvation”. It reveals God’s love and grace. But simultaneously with the gospel the righteousness and the wrath of God are revealed: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:16 & 18).

Today’s reading: Judges 6:28-40 · 2 Corinthians 6:11-18
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, September 7, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 6, 2020

Of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No-one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
John 1:16-18

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (7)
With the incarnation of Jesus, the Son of God, begins a new epoch in man’s history. It is strikingly different from the previous centuries in which God dealt with one particular nation: He had given the people of Israel a law that was indisputably “holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12). But the law gave people nothing; it demanded of them. Nor could it endow people with the strength to conform to its demands.

In Jesus Christ, on the other hand, the fulness of God’s grace came to sinful man. The grace of God that brings salvation to all men has appeared (cf. Titus 2:11), and that not at the cost of truth! God’s loving approach calls on sinners to turn back and grants many lasting blessings to those who follow His call in faith.

Verse 18 may raise the question whether nobody really knew God before the incarnation of Jesus. In Old Testament times there were only rare revelations of God. Abraham, for example, knew God as the Almighty. Moses came to know Him as the eternal “I Am”. But no-one could fathom God’s true being. Who would have thought that God is so full of love and light, and that He would act in His righteousness for the benefit of mankind, as was proved at the cross of Calvary? Only One who was Himself with God and was Himself God could make Him known. And that is just what the only begotten Son actually did.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Judges 6:14-27 · 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, September 6, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 5, 2020

You will be like God, knowing good and evil.Christ Jesus … did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation.
Genesis 3:5; Philippians 2:5-7

Good and evil
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with their Creator. But Satan led them astray with his lies and instilled doubt in them as to God’s love. As a result the first human beings destroyed the bond that linked them with God through disobedience.

Their happy relationship was by no means replaced by the independence they sought, as the serpent had persuaded them. On the contrary, the couple came under the bondage of sin with all its consequences. They ate of the forbidden fruit and learned from experience what good and evil meant: obedience and disobedience, love and hatred, life and death. The distressing thing was that under the bondage of sin they were incapable of doing good and avoiding evil.

Being independent of God, man himself now seeks to establish what is good and evil. Moralists, philosophers and religious thinkers try to do so in vain: apart from God they cannot find absolutely valid and generally accepted standards. We need a personal, living relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, otherwise we cannot know what is truly good; we have no power to do so.

God’s revealed will is good. Doing His will is doing good. We find a complete knowledge of good in the Person of Jesus Christ, as is described in the Bible. And the power to do good is not to be found in us, but in God.

Today’s reading: Judges 6:1-13 · 2 Corinthians 5:10-21
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, September 5, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 4, 2020

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

A missionary was once visited...
A missionary was once visited by a native who gave the impression that he was troubled about something. He said he had something on his conscience and wanted to talk about it. After some hesitation he finally admitted that he had stolen something. “Stolen?” asked the missionary, “Well, what have you stolen?” – “Oh, it was only a rope” – “Well then, go to the person you stole it from and give him his rope back. Confess that you did it, and tell him that you are sorry.”

A few days later the thief re-appeared, saying that he not yet found any peace. So the missionary asked him, “Did you truly tell me the whole ­story?” – “To tell the truth, no. There was something on the end of the rope.” – “What was it?” – “Well, it was a cow!”

What happened here illustrates a common inclination: for fear of punishment, or not wanting to lose face, we are more ready to admit to the rope than the cow. And our fellowmen often are satisfied, if we at least admit to a part of our guilt.

God however, is not satisfied with an incomplete confession. He expects a blunt and frank confession of the entire guilt of our life. And we need not fear losing our face before Him, since He has a thorough knowledge of us, even of our most secret thoughts. But if we confess our sins to Him sincerely, He will not punish us, but forgive us everything. God is “faithful and just” in forgiving us our sins, because His own Son, Jesus Christ, died for sinners.

Today’s reading: Judges 5:12-31 · 2 Corinthians 5:1-9
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, September 4, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 3, 2020

There is … one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.
1 Timothy 2:5.6

There are many bridges in the...
There are many bridges in the world. Traffic in mountainous districts or river valleys would be unthinkable without them. All bridges have one thing in common, however big or small they are: they connect two sides whether over a valley, a waterway or a ravine.

The biggest gulf of all, however, is of a spiritual nature: that between man and God. A deep gulf has resulted from our sins. How can it be bridged, so that we can come to God?

God Himself has taken care to provide an effective bridge: Jesus Christ. His death on the cross made it possible for sinful people, who are far from Him, to get to Him.

Standing at one end of the bridge or merely considering its architectural beauty or effectiveness enables no-one to reach the other side. We must entrust our life to Christ. He will lead us to God. On God’s side everything has been prepared, but we must be willing and active, whoever we are, and however bad our past has been.

There is no other way to reach God. Man has devised all kinds of alternative religious bridges, but they all depend on personal achievement to bridge the gap. That such attempts are vain man finds difficult to admit. Without Jesus Christ the gap remains unbridgeable, for He has settled the question of our guilt through His atoning work at Calvary. We need to admit our own guilt and helplessness and rest on Christ and His redemptive work by faith.

Today’s reading: Judges 4:17-5:11 · 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, September 3, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 2, 2020

Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Matthew 27:51

The veil of the temple
After the Lord Jesus Christ had yielded up His life on the cross of Calvary, God rent the veil that separated the holy place from the holiest of all in the temple in two pieces from top to bottom. By this action He signified three important facts.

By tearing down the veil God indicated that He would put an end to the Jewish system under the law. As a consequence of the crucifixion of His Son He would do away with the Jewish divine service that had been initiated on the ground of the covenant of Sinai. In 70 A.D. the Romans destroyed the temple with the result that sacrifices in Jerusalem ceased.

On the ground of the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus God can show His love to mankind, without restriction or surrendering anything of His holiness. The rent veil testifies that a stream of grace flows out from God’s heart to lost man. The good news that God loves the race of men and wishes to grant them eternal life can now be proclaimed everywhere. Whoever accepts His offer of grace is saved.

Because Jesus Christ gave His life at the cross, the redeemed can enter God’s presence freely. The rent veil confirms access to God is available for all who have been made perfect by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. What a privilege the believers of the age of grace now have: they can enter God’s holy presence fearlessly in order to bring Him their heartfelt worship.

Today’s reading: Judges 4:1-16 · 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, September 2, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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September 1, 2020

God has … spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.I have not spoken in secret. … I, the LORD, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
Hebrews 1:1.2; Isaiah 45:19

God speaks to me personally
Some people maintain that God is far away in time and space. Can He then have a message for us today? Others believe in a supreme God whose power was the origin of all things and who rules over all the elements of the universe. But that God might speak to us – that is another matter!

If we believe in God’s existence, we must not forget that man’s intelligence cannot conceive Him in His nature and characteristics: God is a spirit, love and light. To make Himself known, He has revealed Himself. For us He has recorded this revelation in His Word, the Bible. Jesus said to God, His Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). This revelation is the very substance, the basis of our faith: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). God does indeed speak to whoever is disposed to believe Him. He also asks us questions. We must listen when He asks questions like, for example “Where are you?” Then “What have you done?” as He asked Adam (Genesis 3:9.13).

These questions are a challenge for me today. God is speaking to me personally. Have I disobeyed God and hidden myself, like Adam, thinking I can elude His watchful eye? The question as to where I am concerns me. But God does not rest there; He asks “What have you done?” God is not far away. On the contrary, He wishes to remove the obstacles that separate us from Him. And in His Word He tells us how.

Today’s reading: Judges 3:12-31 · 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, September 1, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 31, 2020

How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
Hebrews 2:3

Carelessness
Have you ever left your umbrella somewhere, or been so lost in thought while driving that you only noticed that you had passed the motorway exit when it was too late? Such carelessness can justifiably make us angry. However, any trouble caused can be rectified. We can buy another umbrella or drive back on the other side of the motorway.

When it is a matter of our salvation through faith in the Redeemer Jesus Christ, on the other hand, careless procrastination can have serious consequences. Heaven or hell, eternal joy or everlasting torment once attained cannot be changed.

God wants everyone to put things in order with Him. So He commands us to repent of our sinful life and turn to Him from the pathway we are on. Whoever ignores His appeal and dies unreconciled with Him is lost.

Jesus Christ invites people to come to Him, believing on Him. He offers the forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all. Whoever rejects this gracious offer remains guilty before God and takes his burden of sin with him into eternity.

God states emphatically in the Bible. “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). So it is negligent to put off conversion. Which of us can guarantee that we shall be alive tomorrow or the day after? So, “Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

Today’s reading: Judges 3:1-11 · 2 Corinthians 3:1-6
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, August 31, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 30, 2020

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of him and cried out, saying, This was he of whom I said, He who comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me.
John 1:14.15

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (6)
The initial verses of John’s gospel reveal the glories of the Son of God. He was the ever existing eternal Word (v.1). In Him was life, divine life, He being the source of that life (v.4).

Now we read that He became: flesh. God became Man in the Person of Jesus, an incomprehensible mystery that we can only wonder at. How close God has come to us: His Son “dwelt among us” and could be seen and handled. But, in contrast to all others, one thing applied to Him: “In him there is no sin” (1 John 1:1; 3:5).

The incarnation of the eternal Word has brought us wondrous blessings:

In Him believers could behold God’s glory as never before. They saw no outward majesty as with a king demonstrating his power. They beheld the moral glory of Jesus, which resulted from His relationship to God, His Father. As the only begotten Son, He is incomparable and unique. His humanity took nothing of it away.

Through the incarnation of Jesus we learn what is in God’s heart towards mankind. Jesus did not demand anything of man as the law of Moses did: He came as the Giver. So he was “full of grace and truth” here on earth. Grace is undeserved, active love. Truth brings things into the proper light, showing them for what they really are. Christ is the truth concerning God and also concerning man.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Judges 2:6-23 · 2 Corinthians 2:1-17
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, August 30, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 29, 2020

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.
Exodus 20:8; Revelation 1:10

In the spring of 1998 a Vatican document was...
In the spring of 1998 a Vatican document was published under the title “Dies domini” (the Lord’s Day). In it the Pope criticised the “growing tendency, noted with great concern, to make a normal day of Sunday”. He called on believers to observe Sunday “with rest and reverence; the day belongs to the Lord, and distractions are forbidden”.

In the course of the 20th century the observance of Sunday as the Lord’s Day underwent changes that reflect the development of attitudes to religious matters over the past hundred years. Whereas in the first half of the century godly fear was recognisable in regular church-going, general deportment and keeping Sunday as a day of rest (for only essential work was carried out), nowadays shops are open, sporting events are organised attracting millions, and individuals pursue any activity that interests them without any conscience before God. Places of worship are almost empty, the number of unbelievers having risen dramatically.

The transition from Judaism to Christianity saw Sunday replace the Sabbath Day as the day devoted to the things of God. Sincere believers still adhere to this practice. Like the apostle John, who was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”, they occupy their hearts with the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear reader, what are your plans for tomorrow and the succeeding Sundays? May God grant you an awareness of His holiness and righteousness, so that you accept Christ’s redemptive work and thus learn reverence.

Today’s reading: Judges 1:27-2:5 · 2 Corinthians 1:15-24
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, August 29, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 28, 2020

Christ died for us.God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Romans 5:8; 1 John 5:11

Dying for a friend
During the Vietnamese war an orphanage was bombed. A small 9-year-old girl was severely injured and lost a lot of blood. The doctor and a nurse urgently sought a donor to save her life. Heng, a ten-year-old boy, volunteered to be the donor. After the necessary tests to check the suitability of his blood the transfusion started immediately. Suddenly Heng started trembling. The nurse asked him if he was in pain. He indicated that he wasn’t but started crying at once. The medical team fetched a Vietnamese nurse who spoke to Heng in his mother tongue. She whispered some words in his ear, and he calmed down. The nurse explained to the Americans: “Heng was asking what time he would die; he thought he must give all his blood to save the little girl’s life.” The doctor was impressed and wondered how the young boy had found the courage to die in order to save the child’s life. So the nurse asked him. Heng replied, “Because she is my friend.”

This moving, true story illustrates that it was through love towards us that God gave us His only Son Jesus. And it was love that made Jesus willing to die on the cross to save us and give us eternal life. The Bible states specifically: “Greater love has no-one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Today’s reading: Judges 1:16-26 · 2 Corinthians 1:8-14
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, August 28, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 27, 2020

The disciples … were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.
Mark 10:24.26.27

The rich young ruler (6)
The rich young ruler had placed his faith in his noble character and overlooked his own sinfulness. When he was shown up as a slave to riches, he was unwilling to accept the Teacher, Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and as his own personal Saviour. Then the Lord explained that pitiable man’s predicament to the disciples: “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (vv. 24. 25). Even the disciples needed instruction concerning the only way of salvation.

Every human being needs salvation. In his present, natural state he cannot attain to the glory of God. Can he save himself with his deeds or possessions? “Impossible!” says the Lord. This incident provides the proof. However, even if all human possibilities are exhausted, not all is lost. It is helpful, indeed imperative, that we recognise this. “With God all things are possible.” Salvation, the gift of eternal life, is a miracle of God’s grace. That is why He gave His only Son. Whoever admits that he himself can do nothing and confesses his sins frankly before God, placing his trust in the Lord Jesus and His work of redemption, will receive eternal life from God. Do we accept God’s grace in Jesus Christ, His Son, or do we, like the rich young ruler, walk away from it, saddened that our estimation of ourselves has received a set-back?

(concluded)

Today’s reading: Judges 1:1-15 · 2 Corinthians 1:1-7
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, August 27, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 26, 2020

It came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.
Genesis 19:29

Abraham was worried about his nephew Lot who...
Abraham was worried about his nephew Lot who had settled in Sodom with his wife and family. Now God had announced judgment for that godless city. Abraham interceded for Lot. He struggled in prayer for his nephew. But the moment of judgment descended, just as God had said.

God carried out His judgment on the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in all its severity without any postponement. And what about Lot? Where was he? Abraham saw the cities as heaps of rubble and ashes. Had Lot perished with the rest of the inhabitants? We do not read that Abraham and Lot met again. They clearly had no further contact with each other.

Abraham had prayed imploringly for Lot. Had God heard his prayer, or not? Initially, Abraham did not know. But we do know that “God remembered Abraham”.

This is a great comfort for those who intercede for others, for their children or parents, for acquaintances and relatives. The fruit of our prayers does not always come to light immediately, nor is it necessary that it should. God wishes to keep us in constant dependence on Him. Eternity will one day reveal the ways that God has taken with us and His people. Then each of us will be fully convinced that God’s dealings with us were wise and beneficial.

Today’s reading: Joshua 24:16-33 · 1 Corinthians 16:10-24
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, August 26, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 25, 2020

He was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Mark 10:22

The rich young ruler (5)
The Lord Jesus had uncovered the young ruler’s weak point: despite all his admirable qualities he was selfish at the bottom of his heart and devoted to wealth. As a result he served “Mammon”. He had asked the Lord for advice but would not accept what he was told. He was not prepared to give up the master he had served hitherto in order to serve a better one. So he departed sad and grieved, leaving the Saviour, the Son of God behind.

This episode helps us to understand why Romans 3:12 insists that “there is none who does good, no, not one”. If anyone claims to be good, just and ­noble-minded and seeks to prove his assertion with a host of good works, God points to the Lord Jesus Christ, saying, as it were, “There is the perfect Man. There you can see the measure by which I judge everyone who trusts in himself.” So the standard is Jesus Christ, who was rich and became poor, who sought no honour for Himself but only the honour of His God and Father and who gave His life for His enemies. We can easily understand that, if Jesus Christ is the standard measure, there is no-one who does good.

It may well be that a love of wealth is not the obstacle hindering us from conforming to God’s glory and attaining eternal life through our own works. But the self-sacrifice of the Son of God uncovers every other form of self-centredness in us humans. At the same time, however, it makes the grace of God and the salvation that is in Christ Jesus available for us all.

(to be concluded on Thursday)

Today’s reading: Joshua 24:6-15 · 1 Corinthians 16:1-9
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, August 25, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 24, 2020

Jesus … said to him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor., and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, … follow me.
Mark 10:21

The rich young ruler (4)
The Lord Jesus again took up the false idea that someone can earn eternal life by good works (cf. Romans 3:20). He showed the young man that for all his upright, honest life he was nevertheless missing the mark. He would “fall short of the glory of God” (Romqans 3:23). The young man wanted instruction from Jesus like a pupil from his teacher. The Lord Jesus had done precisely what He expected of the young man! He was rich, and for our sakes He became poor, so that we might become rich through His poverty (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9). The Son of God left the glory of heaven to become a Man. Here He was poor, despised and finally rejected. On the cross He sacrificed His life to open up the way of salvation for sinners.

The Lord did not speak expressly of Himself here. But the young man’s reaction revealed that he did not have the Teacher’s perfect mind (cf. Philippians 2:5-8).

The young man was rich; but was he prepared to renounce all and give to the poor? That was going too far, he thought. For all his praiseworthy deeds, he loved his riches more than the poor and preferred treasure on earth to treasure in heaven. Doesn’t this convince us of the vast moral difference between the noblest of souls and the Lord Jesus? Given that it were at all possible for anyone to earn himself a place in heaven, he must under no circumstances fall behind the Master’s standard.

(to be continued tomorrow)

Today’s reading: Joshua 23:14-24:5 · 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, August 24, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 23, 2020

He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:10-13

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (5)
Let us be clear about this: the Son of God, who is the eternal Word and, at the same time, the true light, entered this world, which He had created for mankind. What tremendous, yet loving condescension! In comparison, how terrible is the deliberate ignorance of the world in not knowing its Creator!

Where Jesus had a place on earth that He could consider His own – among His own people – He was rejected. “His own” were no better than the world in general. They showed the same attitude of rejection. The “light” had no transforming effect on them.

Left to himself, man is in a hopeless state. But God works in sovereign grace with people, so that some receive Christ. They acknowledge who He really is. They believe on Him. And God makes something new out of them: they become His children. Man’s descent, however distinguished, has nothing to do with it; nor could the “will of the flesh” ever bring it about, for “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). Not even the noblest or strongest will-power of man could produce a child of God. It is solely and uniquely the work of God in a person’s soul.

Being a child of God means sharing God’s nature and enjoying His love. Have you any experience of this?

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Joshua 23:1-13 · 1 Corinthians 15:35-50
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, August 23, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 22, 2020

He answered and said to him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him.
Mark 10:20.21

The rich young ruler (3)
The young man had assumed that there was good in mankind; so he asked what he should do to obtain eternal life. Because he based the reception of eternal life on human activity, the Lord reminded him of the ten commandments: “Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honour your father and your mother.” The young man answered, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” (Can any­one truly assert such a thing without blushing?)

This reply shows that the young man had not grasped what the Lord wished to make him understand. It is true that he no longer addressed Christ as “Good Teacher”, but he still insisted on his upright manner of life. Hadn’t he good reason to in certain respects? There must have been something attractive about the young man, for the Lord looked on him and loved him.

An honest way of life is not be disdained. On the contrary! Yet we cannot attain heaven on that basis. Whoever trusts in his own integrity will discover that that very sense of uprightness has become self-righteousness, which bars the way to heaven instead of opening it up. How could that young man, how can honest persons today learn that, in spite of everything, they are sinners who cannot rest on their own deeds but need redemption? How did the Lord Jesus answer the rich young ruler to convince him of his need?

(to be continued tomorrow)

Today’s reading: Joshua 22:11-34 · 1 Corinthians 15:20-34
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, August 22, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 21, 2020

Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No-one is good but One, that is God.
Mark 10:18

The rich young ruler (2)
The young man had addressed the Lord as “Good Teacher”. Proceeding very gently, Jesus set about making him consider two essential issues: who is Jesus and what is man? The Lord thus rejected the ruler’s form of address as unsuitable. If He were merely a man like any other, as the ruler thought, He could not be good. He made the young man understand that for that title He would have to be God as well, for “there is none that does good, no, not one” (cf. Romans 3:9-20).

If, however, Jesus is the incarnate Son of God, then He is Himself God, and the form of address “Good Teacher” is too limited. “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14). That is the tremendous message of the New Testament. God the Son came down to us as Man. We can receive Him as our personal Saviour only by acknowledging Him to be the Son of God.

The Lord’s answer made it clear, at the same time, that no-one is good in himself. The young man had imagined that there was a great deal of goodness in himself: after all, he kept the law. He expected to be able to earn eternal life by good works.

The Lord stressed that God alone is good. His creature man came into existence as a good being, but since the fall even the most noble among us, including the rich young ruler, have the seed of sin within us, so that all our deeds bear its stamp. This leads to the logical conclusion that One alone is good: God. The Lord Jesus proposed to make this fact even clearer to the young man.

(to be continued tomorrow)

Today’s reading: Joshua 21:27-22:10 · 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, August 21, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 20, 2020

As he (i.e. Jesus) was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before him, and asked him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mark 10:17

The rich young ruler (1)
The man who came to Jesus in this episode may still have been young, but he was already a ruler of the Jews. He came in a hurry because he had a burning desire to speak with Jesus. In addressing Him as “Good Teacher”, he showed due respect. Having this wish to meet the Lord and speak to Him, the young man must already have heard something of Him, possibly the goodness of His Person or His moral teaching. In a personal encounter he surely hoped to hear the confirmation of his own supposedly upright character.

This attitude is not unknown today. The media often refer to Jesus Christ, e.g. in connection with the Dead Sea scrolls and their evaluation. Insofar as people do not bypass Jesus with a total lack of interest, they are prepared to admit that He was a good Man, whose message of love of one’s neighbour and non-violence sets us a good example.

Jesus was indeed “good”, and the Sermon on the Mount reveals a standing on morality that is unsurpassed in world history. But is that all that that young man and we ourselves know of Jesus of Nazareth? Who was Jesus really, and what can we learn from Him? In the course of our meditations we hope to provide the answers to these important questions.

(to be continued tomorrow)

Today’s reading: Joshua 20:1-21:26 · 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, August 20, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 19, 2020

It came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi. … And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.
Ruth 1:1.2.

Elimelech and Naomi
A married couple made plans. They did it properly, and off they went to a foreign country.

Many years later the husband was dead, and the wife was returning to her homeland.

Elimelech and Naomi set off together for a better future, however without God’s approval. Apparently neither had any objections, nor put any hindrance in the way. They thought they were going empty-handed owing to the famine and would be full in Moab, where there was bread. Later Naomi had to admit that it was the very opposite: “I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty” (v.21). Her husband and sons were dead, and everything appeared to be lost. But her confession contained something new: she now knew that she had gone, but the LORD made her return. She had learned and continued to learn.

We can make wrong decisions as married couples. The husband takes the lead, and the wife doesn’t restrain him. Or she takes the ini­tiative, and he remains silent. One leaves “the straight path”, and the other fails to notice (Hebrews 12:13).

If we have been preserved in our marriage, then it is through God’s grace! And if we have made a wrong decision, there is grace to rectify it: “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22.23).

Today’s reading: Joshua 19:1-51 · 1 Corinthians 14:26-40
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, August 19, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 18, 2020

The lips of a fool shall swallow him up; the words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness.
Ecclesiastes 10:12.13

An elderly Christian once said:...
An elderly Christian once said: In my team of building workers I had a man who swore disgustingly. It always made me feel sad when I heard him. It was particularly bad on Mondays, when, after drinking excessively on Sunday, he found the work more difficult.

On one such Monday I had a helpful idea: I called the man across. On his way over he said,‘I know I’m not doing the work very well today. You needn’t tell me. But one must have some pleasure. Do you begrudge me a few glasses of beer?”

“No,” I answered. “I didn’t want to speak to you about your drunkenness. If you think your free time is there for you to ruin your health, I can’t forbid you. What matters is that you should do your work properly. What I won’t allow is that you pray here publicly on the building site.” – “ Me pray? I never pray!” – “Yes, you do. All the morning I have heard you calling on God to damn you. Do you really want Him to condemn you? Is your life so repulsive to you that you want damnation before the time comes? For my part, I shall pray to God that you might be saved.”

The man went as red as a beetroot, turned round and went back to his work. Had he taken it to heart? God knows. From then on at least he took pains to come to work sober. And I never heard him swear again.

Today’s reading: Joshua 18:1-28 · 1 Corinthians 14:13-25
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 17, 2020

This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.Repent, and believe in the gospel.
Mark 7:6.7; 1:15

True faith or mere credulity?
Must we, in order to approach God, abandon our personality and be moulded in a religion or even a sect?

Jesus vigorously opposed forms and traditions. He reproved the religious leaders of His day who prevented people from approaching God. On the other hand, how could God, who created people with a variety of feelings, characters and views, despise such diversity? On the contrary, He uses it to form those who serve Him with a view to their particular function in His work on earth.

Everyone can come to God just as he is to find not a religion but a living relationship with Himself. Christianity is not a compilation of dogma, but the revelation of God, His righteousness and love through established facts, especially the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Religious forms may go along with spiritual death, whereas faith in Jesus Christ means freedom, true life offered freely to all.

Faith is not being naïve or credulous. It receives the Bible message because it recognises it as God’s Word. True faith has nothing to do with superstition, imagination or infatuation.

It comes from a spirit of reflection. Faith is an act of obedience, a response to God’s appeal. It does not mean accepting anything, but acknowledging with full conviction that God is always right.

Today’s reading: Joshua 17:1-18 · 1 Corinthians 14:1-12
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, August 17, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 16, 2020

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light, which gives light to every man coming into the world.
John 1:6-9

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (4)
The gospel of John begins with the glory of the Son of God. He is the “Word”, i.e. the expression of God’s thoughts and intents. As the source of divine life, He is also the “light of men”. Now we learn how God works to draw attention to this light, for He loves mankind. Therefore He not only gave the light, but sent a forerunner, John the Baptist. He was to prepare people to recognise the extraordinary significance of the “true light”.

John himself was a mere man. His name means “the Lord is gracious”. His birth and descent are not mentioned in this gospel. Compared with the light, John is only a “burning and shining lamp” (ch. 5:35), not the light itself.

Two further points are noteworthy:

In contrast to the law of Sinai the light is not limited to the people of Israel: Jesus Christ came for all. Since His coming none can pass Him by. Whoever is confronted by Him senses at once that he has been placed in God’s light.

It was important for John the Baptist that everyone should believe in the Son of God, who had come not simply to make God known and to expose man’s depravity, but also to save the lost.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Joshua 15:20-16:10 · 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, August 16, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 15, 2020

Jesus of Nazareth … went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
Acts 10:38.39; 2 Corinthians 5:19

Jesus, the perfect Man
He left heaven to become Man. Laid in a manger after his birth, He was a small child dependent on Mary, His mother. He was obedient to His parents, worked for His living, but never had an own home here and lived in poverty (cf. 2 Corinthians 8. 9).

He went from one place to another, easing physical or moral suffering, healing the sick, comforting the unfortunate and outcasts. He never heeded His hunger, thirst or fatigue.

He was misunderstood and despised even by His friends and family, denied and forsaken by those closest to Him and betrayed by one of them.

Though innocent, He was arrested, insulted, scourged, condemned and crucified. During this time He asked His Father to forgive those who were set against Him.

In dying to save us, He, who had never sinned, was “made …sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). He knew in advance all that would happen to Him (cf. John 18:4), but He willingly went that pathway of suffering to the cross for the honour of God His Father and out of love toward us.

After His resurrection He appeared to His own to strengthen their newborn faith. Having ascended to heaven to be with the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to earth to guide us.

Now in heaven He awaits the time to receive His own to be with Him. And He constantly attends to their daily needs. Let us gratefully remember all that He undertook for us!

Today’s reading: Joshua 15:1-19 · 1 Corinthians 12:14-31
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, August 15, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 14, 2020

Jesus called a little child to him, set him in the midst of them, and said, … Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:2.3

A deep blue sky with gleaming sunlight spread over...
A deep blue sky with gleaming sunlight spread over the lake. The upper deck of the pleasure steamer was full. I found a seat opposite a boy of about ten years of age who was sitting next to his father. The boy was watching the flight of the waterfowl, the yachts gliding past silently and our approach as we neared the island.

I handed him a gospel flyer, saying, “This is a true, exciting story of a boy of your age.” He started reading it immediately. Engrossed in what he read, he forgot his surroundings. When he had finished, he sat still, lost in thought. Suddenly he turned to his father and said, “Papa, you must read this.” It was clear that he was captivated by the story of that boy and his firm faith in Jesus Christ. Would he, too, give Him his heart?

Christian literature is often brushed aside thoughtlessly and thrown away unread. The motives that hinder people from believing are manifold: prejudices towards the Bible, a determined rejection of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also pride, self-righteousness or indifference.

Yet God wants all to be saved by turning to Him and believing in His Son Jesus Christ. God sent Christ to earth and to the cross as the atonement for our sins. But unless “we become as little children”, if we refuse to believe what Holy Scripture says, we shall not “enter the kingdom of heaven”, for we shall not be saved.

Today’s reading: Joshua 14:1-15 · 1 Corinthians 12:1-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, August 14, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 13, 2020

Jesus said, … If you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
John 8:24; Revelation 14:13

The Bible teaches that there are only two ways to die...
The Bible teaches that there are only two ways to die. We die either in our sins or in the Lord.

Whoever dies in his sins must appear before our holy God in that condition. His guilt is proven; he can expect nothing other than condemnation. He will stand alone, without any attorney, before an unbribable Judge, who knows everything.

Through the grace of God, however, a born again Christian will die “in the Lord”. Through faith in Christ he has been freely justified and clothed in divine righteousness; he can cross the threshold to eternity in this state. No other form of righteousness can protect anyone from the divine sentence of condemnation. It is not those who have the amassed the greatest guilt who are lost, but all who refuse to believe in Christ as their Saviour.

The resurrection of the dead is a fact, even if it is outside our present experience. It is proven by the resurrection of Christ and is fundamental biblical doctrine. It will take place on two different occasions.

First comes “the resurrection of life”, promised to those who have received eternal life through faith in Christ. When Jesus Christ comes, all who belong to Him will be raised.

The resurrection of those who reject Christ will occur later. It is called “the resurrection of condemnation”. All who have been left here for that must expect God’s righteous verdict. Therefore: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord”.

Today’s reading: Joshua 13:15-33 · 1 Corinthians 11:20-34
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, August 13, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 12, 2020

The Levites … shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle.
Numbers 1:50

The tribe of Levi enjoyed a privileged position among...
The tribe of Levi enjoyed a privileged position among the people of Israel. God had sanctified them for Himself, selecting them from the nation for His service. They were responsible for the tabernacle, God’s dwelling among His people. The people always had to take this tent, which could be dismantled, with them on the wilderness journey. One of the most important tasks of the Levites was to carry the dwelling place and all its furnishings.

Today it is the church (the assembly) that is the house of God – His testimony on earth (1 Timothy 3:15). Just like Israel, the church, i.e. the entire company of all born again Christians, is still on its journey of some two thousand years. Eternity in glory with the Lord still lies ahead of us. On this “wilderness journey” we are called upon to bear witness for God. Every believer is, so to speak, a Levite, even you. Are you one of the bearers?

The tribe of Levi comprised three large families:

The Gershonites carried the tent, the coverings and the curtains. - We must see to it that our conduct is in agreement with the Word of God. It is a question of the spiritual state of the church.
The sons of Merari carried the boards, pillars and their sockets. How important it is to uphold the principles that God has laid down in His Word for His church and their gatherings!
The Kohathites carried the smaller items of the equipment. These depict the Person of the Lord Jesus Himself. Let us hold fast both Him and the truth regarding His Person.
Nor should we overlook anything, but faithfully uphold God’s dwelling on our journey to our promised land above.

Today’s reading: Joshua 13:1-14 · 1 Corinthians 11:1-19
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, August 12, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 11, 2020

Turn and live!
Ezekiel 18:32

William (2)
“William!” The Indian thought he had suddenly been called just as he was about to take his life. William was not his Indian name, but the name that the missionary had given him years before.

He put his rifle down and looked around, but there was no-one there. He realised that his conscience had called him. It seemed to be saying: “William, have you completely forgotten what you were told about our good God? That He is waiting for you and will forgive you if you turn to Him. Why don’t you ask Him for food?

But William was too proud for that. He sensed his ingratitude, but put up some resistance. Yet the voice didn’t leave off calling. He imagined he could hear his wife and children crying with hunger and fell on to his knees and prayed. He asked the great God to forgive the poor Indian who had run away. He asked Him for food. He went on praying and and confessed the life he was leading. He felt that God was near and heard him. Then he stood up and picked up his rifle; a short time later he had shot a deer. He lit a fire and ate, then took the rest to his family. In the following weeks they had no further need. When the snow melted they set off for the mission station. It was now inhabited by a new generation of missionaries, who joyfully welcomed him and his family.

God had called William to turn back to Him for a happy life both here on earth and in eternity. The same God is still calling; “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest” (Matthew 11:28). Are there people today who will hear God’s call and turn to Him?

(concluded)

Today’s reading: Joshua 12:1-24 · 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, August 11, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 10, 2020

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way.
Isaiah 53:6

William (1)
This happened at a mission station in Canada. One day some Indians brought a small boy along who had lost his parents. A missionary took care of the lad and named him William. Many years passed. The boy grew up and learned to read and write. He also learned to pray and came to know the God of heaven.

Indians often came to the mission station to trade with fur. One day they persuaded the boy to go with them. And William agreed and went without taking leave of the missionary.

His new life turned out to be far different from what he had become accustomed to. He often suffered hunger, and sometimes the Indians were harsh and cruel. As time passed, he forgot all that he had learned about God and His Son Jesus Christ. He married an Indian woman, and they had children.

Life was hard, and they often lacked the essentials. So William decided to move away with his family. They settled in a region where he had discovered plenty of game on former expeditions. But, remarkably, all the animals seemed to have suddenly disappeared. He often returned to his wigwam without any prey. It was winter in the mean time, and he was exhausted and felt desperate. All his family were suffering. William made another attempt. If he found nothing this time, he would shoot himself. Days passed, but nothing came. Distraught, he picked up his rifle, loaded it and pointed the barrel at his head. Then he thought he heard a shout: “William!”

We wonder whether there are people today who run away and forget God.

(to be concluded tomorrow)

Today’s reading: Joshua 11:12-23 · 1 Corinthians 10:14-22
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, August 10, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 9, 2020

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:4.5

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (3)
John’s gospel presents the Word first of all. We have seen who is meant: Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. First He is seen in His relationship to God, then to creation, and now in our verse to mankind.

We now learn more about the Son of God: “In him was life”. Life with Him did not begin at some specific time, in contrast to that of creatures. It is part of God’s nature. It is not life, as we naturally understand it, but divine life. It has a particular quality: it is the “light of men”, who already possess natural life.

Nor is natural, physical light meant here, but light that God has revealed fully in His Son. God Himself is a spirit. No man can behold Him. Therefore the Son of God became Man. In Him we understand something of God’s nature, how He thinks and feels.

Physical light conveys something of God’s power and greatness, but it cannot reveal God’s heart. Nor can it reveal the heart of man. But that is precisely the purpose of the divine light in Jesus Christ: it shines in mankind’s spiritual darkness.

Man is a sinner by nature. When the light shines on him, it shines in the darkness or ignorance of God. And what does man do with it? Instead of letting it in, he prefers remaining in the dark. With natural light the darkness would have vanished. Natural man, however, fears being exposed by divine light; he refuses to admit that he needs it.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Joshua 11:1-11 · 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, August 9, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 8, 2020

A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, Come, for all things are now ready. But they all with one accord began to make excuses.
Luke 14:16-18

The parable of the great supper illustrates...
The parable of the great supper illustrates impressively God’s grace, which was first offered to His people Israel, but now is preached to all on earth. Long before, prophets had announced God’s grace that brings salvation, and it appeared in the Person of Jesus Christ. The feast to which the guests were invited illustrates this.

Joy over the appearance of God’s grace in sending Jesus is recognisable in the angels’ praise at His birth: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). Christ is the centre of this feast. As a Man He enjoyed God’s full approval. He was the beloved Son, the Father’s joy.

People are invited to this feast of grace, which depicts the joy of heaven. How do the invited guests respond? How do they regard Jesus Christ and His grace? “They all … began to make excuses.” Without exception they made various duties their excuses. The time didn’t suit them. They might well have come, but their land and their oxen were more important. And the last excuse was even more feeble: “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”

We are all invited to partake of God’s grace. It is better to forget our excuses and accept the invitation. It is now time to come to Jesus by faith!

Today’s reading: Joshua 10:28-43 · 1 Corinthians 9:16-27
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, August 8, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 7, 2020

This is my comfort in my affliction, for your word has given me life.Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.
Psalm 119:50; Jeremiah 15:16

After the communists took over power in...
After the communists took over power in China a foreign missionary was arrested and kept prisoner for fifteen months. He spent the whole time in solitary confinement, cut off from all his relatives and friends and without any book. Twice a day his meal was handed to him through an opening in the cell door. During the whole of his imprisonment he never saw a human face. He did not even know whether his family knew where he was.

Later he said that he would have gone mad, had he not been able to remember many verses from the Bible that he had learned by heart years before. That alone kept his mind active and balanced. He knew that God had not given him up. What a comfort it was for him to be able to quote verses from the Bible every day! That did him good.

Whoever has a store of words from the Bible in his memory and his heart receives consolation and help even in the most trying circumstances. But it is not only then that God’s Word reveals its effect: it constantly draws our attention to Christ, the Son of God and Redeemer. And it sustains the believer in his fellowship with Christ in good and bad times. It leaves its mark on the way he leads his life and guides him in the decisions made in everyday life. It also has a blessed influence on in the varied daily duties and contacts.

“He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).

Today’s reading: Joshua 10:12-27 · 1 Corinthians 9:1-15
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Friday, August 7, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 6, 2020

Forgive us our debts.
Matthew 6:12

Having debts is unpleasant, particularly if...
Having debts is unpleasant, particularly if one cannot settle them. Could you possibly have a mountain of debts? I do not mean financial debts, but rather the mountain of guilt piled up through sins that everyone has who lives apart from God. They are debts that no-one can pay off, not even with good works. In this matter there is no reckoning of debit and credit.

On the credit side nobody has anything to show before God. You might ask, “Where are the good works recorded, if not on the credit side?” They are not recorded, for what we, as sinners, might consider good is by no means “good” in God’s sight, even if they have been useful. Without a living relationship with God nobody can do works that have any value for God. And our guilt of sin can not be settled with deeds in any case: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Is there no way out of this predicament? Yes, Jesus Christ wishes to stand in for you and take the responsibility for your guilt. As sinners before God we need the one representative who has taken over our debt: Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary! That was why God gave His Son: to free you from debt. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). That is what God has done for you, so that you need not be lost.

What must you do? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God demands no more than that from you. Isn’t it a great offer? Don’t turn it down!

Today’s reading: Joshua 10:1-11 · 1 Corinthians 8:9-13
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Thursday, August 6, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 5, 2020

Remember, I pray, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather you from there.
Nehemiah 1:8.9

Nehemiah’s references to God’s statements in...
Nehemiah’s references to God’s statements in various chapters of the books of Moses here summarise God’s threats and promises. He reminds God of them in prayer. God’s ancient sayings describe precisely Nehemiah’s situation at the time. We cannot fail to recognise the spiritual sensitiveness and the comprehensive knowledge of Scripture that Nehemiah, this “servant” of God, as he often designates himself (cf. vv. 6 & 11), had.

We can learn a lot from this. It is good to read and understand Holy Scripture, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. It is even better to meditate on it and recognise the interrelationship of the entire content. But it is best to allow oneself to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit and apply the word of God to our present personal situation. We then learn something of God’s readiness to forgive; we adopt a humble position before God’s face and come to know the “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) who wishes to grant us personally, or believers corporately, the strength for a fresh start.

Nehemiah was saddened by the ruin of the city of Jerusalem, but he knew his God. He was aware that God forgives and restores after a sincere confession of faith. God loves to bless His people; in this humble attitude Nehemiah opened his heart to receive God’s blessing. Is this our experience, too?

Today’s reading: Joshua 9:17-27 · 1 Corinthians 8:1-8
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Wednesday, August 5, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 4, 2020

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed … through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
Romans 3:21.22

Justification by faith
Paul had demonstrated that mankind has no righteousness that is valid before God. Not even the law of Moses can help him, for the law with its commandments only exposes his guilt, since he cannot keep it.

“But now”: this points to a new era, the one in which we are living now and that is often called “the age of grace”. At the present time the gospel of God’s righteousness in grace is being offered. Whereas the law of Sinai referred to the people of Israel, the offer of grace now addresses everyone in the gospel without making any distinction. No-one need appear before God in his wretched state any longer, for His righteousness is offered to all. That is the sense of the phrase “to all”.

How can sinful man obtain his part in this righteousness? Not by deeds of the law, but by faith – not any faith, but by “faith in Jesus Christ”. Through deeds man achieves nothing; he can and must take hold of what Christ accomplished in His atoning work on the cross by faith.

That is the pre-requisite, for “the righteousness of God” comes exclusively “on all who believe”. Whoever does not place his trust on himself and his supposed righteousness but admits his guilt before God and believes in Christ, he is saved, is righteous before God and safe from judgment.

(concluded)

Today’s reading: Joshua 9:1-16 · 1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Tuesday, August 4, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 3, 2020

By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:20

No justification through the deeds of the law
In contrast to the other nations the people of Israel stood in a special relationship with God. The Old Testament scriptures were therefore primarily for the Jews. Their knowledge of God and His commandments, particularly in the law of Sinai was something special. However, it made them no better than other nations, for they were not righteous thereby. Indeed, through “deeds of the law” it was and is impossible to be justified before God: “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

It was not the aim of the law to save the sinful. God wanted rather to show people through the law that they are guilty and need salvation (cf. Romans 5:20; 7:7-11).

“By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Whoever knows God’s just demands will conclude that he cannot fulfil them absolutely. And the more someone tries to keep God’s commandments, the sooner he realises that the power of sin rules over him, tempting him to rebel against and transgress God’s laws. So, although God’s law is “holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12), it proves to be “the strength of sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56).

God’s law can therefore not equip mankind with the righteousness enabling him to stand before God. It cannot forgive his transgressions nor free him from the power of sin that dwells in him.

(to be concluded tomorrow)

“All things were made through him”. The Son of God is the Creator of all that has become existent. But He never became who He is. He was, originally and initially. Without the Son of God the question of the origin of things cannot be answered.

These five abstract statements about Jesus Christ stand like a rock against the surge of human philosophy and disparagement.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Joshua 8:24-35 · 1 Corinthians 7:12-24
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Monday, August 3, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 2, 2020

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made that was made.
John 1:1-3

Thoughts on the Gospel of John (2)
While the three synoptic gospels begin with the birth of Jesus or His ministry, John presents an eternal existence at the start of his gospel: “the Word”. Who is meant, when the writer speaks of “the Word”? The sequel of the text leaves no doubt as to the answer: it is God the Son, called “the Word” because God’s thoughts and intentions find their expression in Him. Five facts are set out in these simple, yet profound sentences:

“In the beginning was the Word”. In contrast to all that was created and thus had a beginning, the Son of God was already there: He is eternal.

“The Word was with God”. The two expressions “Word” and “God” are not identical. The Son of God is a separate, distinctive Person of the Godhead.

“The Word was God”. The Son of God is just as much deity as the Father and the Holy Spirit. “God by nature”, as Luther expressed it.

“He was in the beginning with God”. The Son of God never started to be with God from a specific moment; He has existed eternally as deity, i.e. as the Son.

“All things were made through him”. The Son of God is the Creator of all that has become existent. But He never became who He is. He was, originally and initially. Without the Son of God the question of the origin of things cannot be answered.

These five abstract statements about Jesus Christ stand like a rock against the surge of human philosophy and disparagement.

(to be continued next Sunday)

Today’s reading: Joshua 8:14-23 · 1 Corinthians 7:1-11
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Sunday, August 2, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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August 1, 2020

I acknowledged my sin to you, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD: And you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Psalm 32:5

All things considered, I am no...
“All things considered, I am no worse than others. I have not wronged anyone, and God is gracious. He will surely make allowances for my slight faults and consider my efforts to lead an upright life.” This is the attitude of many people. We can well believe that they are no worse than others. The question is: who are these “others”? Is the comparison with them a standard that will hold good with God? The time will come when each of us must “give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). The life of others is then irrelevant. So it would be advisable to heed God’s verdict, since He is the supreme Judge. His Word tells us that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and that God cannot overlook sin. His holiness demands that He should pronounce His judgment even on what we term slight.

At the same time, however, He is the God who loves us and has given us the Saviour: His beloved Son. Jesus Christ underwent God’s punishment in the place of sinners voluntarily when He died on the cross. There sin was judged, when Jesus died, cancelling the guilt of all who put their trust fully in Him and His atoning work.

We should never think that God takes our sins lightly, but He does offer us the means of full forgiveness, and that free of charge through faith in Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading: Joshua 8:1-13 · 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Original version of The Good Seed Daily Devotional for Saturday, August 1, 2020 by GBV Dillenburg GmbH


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