Daily Meditations for March


March 11

Psalm 53:4

During so-called World War II (a truly worldwide war will not come until the days of the Antichrist), it was repeatedly said, "There are no Atheists in the fox holes." Then God's name came upon men's lips, and they cried to God for help and protection. Yet what David says in Psalm 53:4 is true. Those who say in their hearts that there is no God do not call upon God in prayer. A heart that says that there is no God will surely not call upon Him. Such a heart calls it folly to pray to a "nonexistent being.''

This is to be understood, for when a man looks heavenward to view the fleecy clouds, he is looking away from the grass at his feet. When he tries to find a coin which he dropped in the beach sand, he is turned away from the clouds above him. And that man that tramples God's law under feet, because in his heart he says that there is no God, is surely correctly described in the versification we considered yesterday:

    These men of evil deeds
    Will they no knowledge gain
    Who feed upon my people's woes,
    And prayer to God disdain?

With their minds they know better, and therefore in their desperate situations, when death seems very close, they will cry out for help and safety. With their lips they will call Him almighty and confess that they depend upon Him. They will clearly reveal that they believe that He is Elohim, that is, the Almighty One who can save them from physical woes. But in their hearts they will still deny Him. No sooner is the danger over and their cursing and evil deeds reappear.

Examine your life. Do you confess God in your moments of trouble, and at once? While all goes smoothly for your flesh, do you forget Him, or thank Him for all His works? This past minute He gave you 60 to 80 heartbeats. Do they go by without thanks at the close of the day, but also at times between your arising and retiring at night?

Say it, as implied in David's words, that in Him you live, move, and have all your being. And call upon Him to thank Him for all the spiritual life as well as physical life He gives you.

Read: Psalm 121
Psalter versification: 146:4

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 409
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 15:17-41; Numbers 16:1-40
Mark 15:1-47
Psalm 54:1-7
Proverbs 11:5-6


Quote for Reflection:

    Only the Cross:  “Do you live in order to serve yourself? If your boast is anything other than in the cross of Jesus Christ, then you are a fool. Only the cross. Let the world say about us what it wants. Let them parade before us all of its pomp and pride. Let the world give the Christian a cold shoulder. Let the world pour out upon the Christian contempt. It does not matter. The cross of Jesus Christ is my life.” --Carl Haak

March 12

Psalm 53:6


Having said that one is a fool if one says in one's heart that there is no God, David clearly reveals that his heart beats loudly with the truth that there is an almighty God Whom he loves.

In Psalm 53:6 David brings this Psalm to a close with the words ''Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad."  The point is that David by those words reveals not only his confidence that God is able to keep His people safe from those that eat them up as bread, but also his love for that people. And if we love God, we will love His people. Their well-being, yea their full salvation, will be the desire of our hearts. Not out of custom, or because we are forced to do so, but sincerely and with joy we will sing the versification:

    O would that Israel's help
    Were out of Zion come!
    O would that God might early bring
    His captive people home!
    When God from distant lands
    His exiled ones shall bring,
    His people shall exaltant be,
    And gladly they shall sing.

Do you have that trust in God? Are you sure that He will come, as He promised, to deliver us completely from the captivity of sin, wherein the devil lured us? The question is not whether we long for, and would be so glad, if only we would be delivered from our aches and pains, from our physical miseries and woes.  It is not a question as to whether we would like to escape the lake of fire. There is not a person, including Satan and the fallen angels, who would not rejoice to escape that! But are you interested in deliverance from the captivity of the power of sin, yea from the foolishness of acting as if there is no God and as though Satan's lie is true that by sinning we become like gods knowing good and evil?

If in your heart you say, "THAT is what I want!" you are by no means a fool but an extremely wise person filled with the wisdom of God through the Spirit of His Son. That is a holy longing that will be answered.

Read: Psalm 126
Psalter versification: 146:7

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 140
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 16:41-50; Numbers 17; Numbers 18:1-32
Mark 16:1-20
Psalm 55:1-23
Proverbs 11:7


Quote for Reflection:

            What a high relationship is that of a son to his father!  What privileges a son has from his father! What liberties a son may take with his father! and oh! what obedience the son owes to his father, and what love the father feels towards the son! But all that, and more than that, we now have through Christ. “Behold!” ye angels! stop, ye seraphs! here is a thing more wonderful than heaven with its walls of jasper. Behold, universe! open thine eyes, O world. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”     --C. Spurgeon

March 13

Psalm 127:1

From the day that they are born children reveal that they know that they are dependent upon their parents. Much of their crying is a call for help in that which they cannot do themselves. They want food that they cannot prepare or get, and comfort in situations that they cannot change.

As they get older, begin to walk, and grow physically and mentally stronger, they do less asking, and they grow in confidence as to their own abilities. When they become fathers and mothers they are the ones who must answer such cries and serve the needs of their children.

And we, as children of God, are really put to shame so often by our children. Indeed, boisterous cries can be sinful and are not to be commended. But awareness of, consciousness of our complete dependency upon God is a must. The child's heart can beat without help from the parent. The parent need not give it strength to cry. But there is nothing, no nothing, that we can do without strength given us by God. Every heartbeat comes from Him. In Him we live, move, and have all our being.

The psalmist in Psalm 127:1 states this in broader terms, but teaches us our utter dependency upon God. He writes, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'' And the question for us today is, do we live in the consciousness of the fact that behind everything we do is God, giving us the physical and mental strength to do it? Do we, before we set out to do anything look to God for strength, or do we go ahead as though we have no need of Him? Can we sincerely sing:

Remember today that even our crying for help, and the desire for it, must come from God. Boast not of what you did, but thank God for what He was pleased to do through you. See all that you have as God's gift, and all you did as His work through you.

Read: Psalm 127
Psalter versification: 359:1

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 28
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 19; Numbers 20:1-29
Luke 1:1-25
Psalm 56:1-13
Proverbs 11:8


Quote for Reflection:

"He cannot have God for his father who does not have the church for his mother." --Augustine

March 14

Psalm 127:1

To know our dependency upon God is important, but there is another side to the picture which the psalmist paints in Psalm 127:1. It is true that "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain." And we are fools if we set out to do anything apart from God. For the word vain does mean foolish as well as empty.

Jesus taught us the other side of the truth, when He taught us to pray, "Not my will but Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." For unless it pleases God to have this or that happen, it is absolutely impossible that it will take place. Bear that in mind all day.

God is so often so far away from our thoughts, and we make all kinds of plans as though He does not exist, or at least as though we need not be concerned with His will.

Instead we find ourselves grumbling and complaining because of what He was pleased to have happen. He wanted rain and we wanted sunshine. He wanted us to be ill, and we wanted health.

So often our works, but also our prayers, spring forth from the proud notion that God must listen to us, rather than that we must bow before His will, no matter what that will is. And we do well to commit that versification of Psalm 127:1 to memory and take it with us every step of our earthly life:

    Unless the Lord the house shall build,
    The weary builders toil in vain:
    Unless the Lord the city shield,
    The guards a useless watch maintain.

Let the cross of Christ speak loudly to you. This was not what we planned, or even understood when it took place. Jesus' disciples all forsook Him and fled, thinking all was going wrong.

Yet He was building the house of many mansions and the glorious city called the New Jerusalem. The cross was no vain work but that which brings everlasting blessedness.

Read: Mark 14:26-42
Psalter versification: 359:1

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 125
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 21; Numbers 22:1-20
Luke 1:26-56
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 11:9-11


Quote for Reflection:

    Meditation on mortification: “In dissuading us from wickedness Scripture demands the entire destruction of the flesh, which is full of perverseness and malice. It is a most difficult and arduous achievement to renounce ourselves and lay aside our natural disposition for the flesh is not destroyed unless every thing we have of our own is abolished…Hence we are often enjoined to put off the old man, to renounce the world and the flesh, to forsake our lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of our mind. Moreover, the very name mortification reminds us how difficult it is to forget our former nature—that we cannot be trained to the fear of God and learn the first principles of piety, unless we are violently smitten with the sword of the Spirit and annihilated, as if God were declaring, that to be ranked among his sons there must be a destruction of our ordinary nature.” --John Calvin, Institutes, 3.3.8

March 15

Psalm 127:2

A word may be used twice for emphasis. And surely when the word "vain'' is used three times in Psalm 127:1-2, we should take careful note of it. Building a house is vain if God is not building it through you. Watching over a city is vain, if God is not keeping it safe. And now, "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He giveth His beloved sleep."

Surely there are times when one must rise up early for a particular work; and we cannot always retire early at night, because of circumstances. Our food is sometimes obtained through difficult toil, even to the point that we are so weary, we would rather sleep than eat. Yet it is folly to do these things, if we are doing so to keep up with the neighbors that have a higher standard of living than we do.

The tragedy is today that we already have so much higher a standard of living than men did in the days of the psalmist. We have it so good compared with men in those days, who had not our labor-saving devices: electricity, furnaces and air conditioners, comfortable, swift automobiles, to mention only a few advances that we have. Yet the versification of the psalmist's words we do well to heed:

The simple truth is that we must not ruin our health to increase our wealth. We must not work to seek the things below, to build a house, and defend a city as the goal of our life. We are to seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness. The natural must serve the spiritual. Life must be protected. The necessary sleep must not be put aside in order to obtain the dainties Satan dangles before our eyes.

We depend upon God and must bow before His will. But we must also thank Him for what He does give unto us and not misuse one bit of it. We must serve Him and use the sleep which He gives us, so that tomorrow we may have the strength to do His will.

Read: Matthew 6:19-34
Psalter versification: 359:2

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 428
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 22:21-41; Numbers 23:1-30
Luke 1:57-80
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 11:12-13


Quote for Reflection:

    "Too often men look at public worship only from the side of its usefulness to the people; but the other matter is of even higher importance: we must see to it that the Lord God is adored, extolled, and had in reverence." C. H. Spurgeon

March 16

Psalm 127:3

All the houses that were built are there because God built them through men. Every city that escaped the attacks of an enemy or terrorists still stands because God kept it safe. And how true is it not that every child conceived and born appeared on this earth because God brought it forth through a man and woman. As we read in Psalm 127:3, "Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward."  Men are God's trees that bring forth His fruit by the strength that He gives them.

Even as an inheritance is that which is not earned, so children are a free gift from God. Men and women are active, thinking, willing agents, and children are God's reward to them for their deeds. But children are given, not purchased or earned.

Is there any work of God performed through men that is more amazing? What a wonderful house for the soul is the body! What a gift is the mind and soul that lift man above all the earthly creatures and make him God's image bearer!

But hold on to the truth that you have children because God willed to give them and brought them forth through you. Ho decided whether it would be son or daughter, have these or those talents. There is nothing that has life that did not receive it from God. There is no one with this or that nature and ability that did not got it as an inheritance rather than by man's work or wish.

How much thanks then do we not owe to God for giving us children, but also for our own existence and place in this world. Daily we should sing:

    Lo, children are a great reward,
    A gift from God in very truth;
    With arrows is his quiver stored
    Who joys in children of his youth.

All boasting is ruled out about the house we built, and the city we kept intact. But put aside all boasting also about the children God gave you. And every day, as you see them and their children, look up to God on high and bring your thanks to Him. As God's fruitful trees we must also be a God-praising people. He gave us His Son as our Savior. But He also gave us children as a free gift that we might praise Him.

Read: Genesis 18:1-14
Psalter versification: 359:3

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 375
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 24; Numbers 25:1-18
Luke 2:1-35
Psalm 59:1-17
Proverbs 11:14


Quote for Reflection:

"As a believer, my whole life is covenant life. God is my God, not only on the Sabbath, but also through the week; not only in my worship, but also in my work; not only in my devotions, but also in my marriage and family; not only as regards my church life, but also with regard to my behavior to the State, to my employer, and to my neighbor. The friendship of God lays claim to everything, controls all, and shows itself everywhere. It makes a radical difference in the believer’s experience and behavior. On the one hand, he possesses joy, contentment, and hope. On the other hand, he walks in holiness." --Prof. David Engelsma

March 17

Psalm 127:4, 5

As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 127:1, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it so it is true that they who build a household must give God all the credit. Children are Gods gift; and even as no one has room to boast of bringing himself into being, no one can rightfully boast of having brought children into being. God brings them into being through man and gives them to man. Man gives God nothing. All is His eternally.

And what a gift children are! As we read in Psalm 127:4-5, As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of thy youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate'' We may sing it thus:

God may not have given you a house. You may not own a city. But if He gave you a covenant child, He made you rich with a most precious gift. Many children do not make a man poor. No covenant parent has room to complain about how much it costs to bring up a child. He may not be able to buy or build a house. Many of the dainties of this earth may never be his. But if God gives him a child, He has made him rich with that which lasts beyond this earth and all its treasures. As a covenant parent with covenant children he will have with him in the house of many mansions, and in the holy city, a gift of God, while the multi-millionaires have seen all their wealth go up in smoke.

Before those who have and fight for gold and silver, he need have no fear, and by all means need not be ashamed of the gift God gave him. No one with gold and silver can take thorn from him. They are his children forever. Gold and silver are ours only for a few years.

Read: Mark 10:13-16
Psalter versification: 359:3,4

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 278
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 26:1-51
Luke 2:36-52
Psalm 60:1-12
Proverbs 11:15


Quote for Reflection:

"…Nowhere perhaps is the devil so active as in a congregation of Gospel-hearers. …From him come wandering thoughts and roving imaginations – listless minds and dull memories – sleepy eyes and fidgety nerves, weary ears and distracted attention. In all these things Satan has a great hand. People wonder where they come from, and marvel how it is that they find sermons so dull, and remember them so badly! They forget the parable of the sower. They forget the devil." --J. Ryle

March 18

Psalm 106:2

In this season when our thoughts are directed in a special way to the suffering and death of our Savior, we ought to listen to the psalmist in Psalm 106:2. There the psalmist states, "Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord, and who can show forth His praise?"

And undoubtedly the greatest wonder, the mighty deed of God behind all that which His Son did for us, and causes His glory to shine forth most beautifully, as well as calls for praise, is the fact that God Himself came into our flesh to become one of us. Indeed, His virgin birth was an amazing miracle, a mighty wonder that calls for endless praise. It was a miracle that man cannot begin to duplicate; and there is just nothing like it in all the history of mankind. But more wonderful, more amazing is the fact that through this wonder of the virgin birth God Himself became flesh and tabernacled with us so that we could see Him and touch Him. The infinite One became finite. The Creator of all became a creature so that He might be our covenant Head and represent us.

Truly our salvation is a wonder, and as we consider for a few days what God's Son did for our salvation, our wonder ought to grow, and our praise to God ought to increase. The implications and significance of that incarnation of the Son of God are so great that God Himself prepared an everlasting life, so that His people might utter His mighty acts and never come to an end of doing so, nor ever lose the implication and significance of it. Not one of the elect in that new Jerusalem will ever run out of words, or think that he sees less reason for praising God.

Do you not see the truth the psalmist declares here in this Psalm? Do you not agree with him that, as we have it in our Psalter versification:

    What tongue can tell His mighty deeds,
    His wondrous works and ways?
    O who can show His glory forth,
    Or utter all His praise?

It takes an innumerable host to do that, and an everlasting life. But we should begin that praise today, and by a wonder of His grace we will do so.

Read: Psalm 106
Psalter versification: 290:2

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 400
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 26:52-65; Numbers 27; Numbers 28:1-15
Luke 3:1-22
Psalm 61:1-8
Proverbs 11:16-17


Quote for Reflection:

      Baptism Vows:  “Every professing Christian is the soldier of Christ. He is bound by his baptism to fight Christ's battle against sin, the world, and the devil. The man that does not do this, breaks his vow: he is a spiritual defaulter; he does not fulfill the engagement made for him. The man that does not do this, is practically renouncing his Christianity. The very fact that he belongs to a Church, attends a Christian place of worship, and calls himself a Christian, is a public declaration that he desires to be reckoned a soldier of Jesus Christ.”  -J. Ryle

March 19

Psalm 80:1-2

From the day that man fell into sin, and God promised to send Christ as the Seed of the Woman to save us, the believers have looked and prayed that Christ would come. And although the Old Testament saints did not see the Son of God come into our flesh, they did pray for Him to come.

We sing their prayers in this versification of Psalm 80:1-2:

    Great Shepherd Who leadest Thy people in love,
    'Mid cherubim dwelling, shine Thou from above;
    In might come and save us, Thy people restore,
    And we shall he saved when Thy face shines once more.

This was not a literal prayer for Christ's coming in Bethlehem.  It was not in their minds a prayer for the wonder of the virgin birth of Christ. But it was a prayer to God that He would visit us with salvation.  Literally the psalmist said, "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock Thou that dwellest between the cherubim shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up Thy strength, and come and save us."

Nevertheless the very fact that they pray to Him, as the Shepherd of Israel, reveals that in effect they were praying for Christ to come. For He Himself states in John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep."

What about you then? Christ has now come and suffered and died for our sins. Do you daily look back at His cross? Do you mention Him in your prayers? Do you ever close your prayers without mentioning this Good Shepherd? Do you plead without a ''For Jesus' sake, Amen'"?

Leave Christ and His cross out of your prayers, and you leave out the only possible ground for the smallest part of the salvation which He earned for His people.

We can and must still pray that He will come again with the full salvation of body and soul. But since He came once and blotted out our sins, we must come to God on the basis of that mighty and important work.  The work He did then makes His final coming possible and wonderful.

Read: Psalm 80
Psalter versification: 220:1

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 217
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 28:16-31; Numbers 29:1-40
Luke 3:23-38
Psalm 62:1-12
Proverbs 11:18-19


Quote for Reflection:

     True Family Happiness:  “O happy is that family, my brethren, which has embraced that God Who says, 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people'! Happy for time, and happy for eternity! How can you hope to meet with those whom you love near Christ in heaven, unless with them you seek Christ on earth? How shall you assemble as a family there, if you have not as a family attended to heavenly things here below? But as to the Christian family which shall have been united in Jesus, it will, without doubt, meet around the throne of the glory of Him whom it will have loved without having seen. It will only change its wretched and perishable dwelling for the vast and eternal mansions of God. Instead of being a humble family of the earth, united to the whole family of heaven by the same ties, it will have become an innumerable and glorious family. It will surround the throne of God with the hundred and forty-four thousand, and will say, as it said on earth, but with joy and glory, 'Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power.”  -J. D’Aubigne

March 20

Psalm 40:7,8

A truth concerning Jesus' coming in our flesh, and concerning His ministry until He was crucified, that is often overlooked or brushed aside is stated prophetically in Psalm 40:7,8, where we read, "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God:  yea, Thy law is written in my heart."

Here we have characterized not only His work, during His whole life here below, but also the indispensable requirement for Him to be our Savior. God's love must be written in His heart, and He must do God's will without one moment of interruption, and without one sinful thought or desire.

If Jesus is guilty of only one sin, He cannot save us from our sins. Then He must die for His own sin. If Adam's sin is handed down to Him through an earthly father, salvation is hopeless for us. But no, God's law is written in His heart. As the Son of God no evil thought or desire has arisen in His heart. His heart wants to keep God's law perfectly, even after He came into our flesh. Only such a Savior will God accept as the sacrifice for our sins.

This also speaks volumes of what He will do in us. For us He suffered and died. In us He will implant God's law, that is a perfect love for God. He has earned for us, and will when He returns give to us, bodies and souls completely freed from sin.  He will make us sing with Him:

    Then, O my God, I come, I come,
    Thy purpose to fulfill;
    Thy law is written in my heart,
    'Tis joy to do Thy will.

He will cause us to come before God's face in the new creation, and there our only desire will be to serve Him fully. We will serve with perfect and unceasing joy, doing what He wills to have us do

What a change that is going to be! Now we have only a small beginning of that joy and obedience. But keep before your minds that Christ came to make us like Himself, and not simply to take away our guilt. He came to take away the power of sin that now rules us, and to make us love God with our whole being. That heavenly joy is in store for us.

Read: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalter versification: 109:2

Daily  Meditations
on the Heidelberg Catechism


Song for Meditation: Psalter number 182
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Numbers 30; Numbers 31:1-54
Luke 4:1-30
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 11:20-21


Quote for Reflection:

"All of covenant life is a matter of the vow by the name of God and of the keeping of that vow in honor of the name of God. Baptism, whether of adult or child, imposes the vow to cleave to the triune God, to forsake the world, to crucify the old nature, and to walk in a new and holy life. How many baptized persons turn from God run with the world, yield to the old nature, and abandon the narrow way of a holy life, as soon as the life required by Christian baptism becomes difficult and costly! ...Presenting a child for baptism involves a vow by the parents that they will bring up the child in the fear of the Lord to the utmost of their ability, in the church, in the home, and in good Christian schools. How many fathers and mothers deliberately break their vows by neglect, by failure to discipline, by abuse, by the devastation of the children that is caused by divorce, by entrusting the children to apostate or apostatizing churches, and by enrolling the children in schools that are not founded on the Word of God! The reason is that the parents find it costly to keep their vow." --Prof. David Engelsma

Last modified, 12-Jan-2007