SEPTEMBER 21
   
Today's Bible Readings
     II Samuel 17
     II Corinthians 10
     Ezekiel 24
     Psalms 72
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
“So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded." (Ezekiel 24: 18)
 
KEEP ON KEEPING ON
      Has the truth of our memory verse grabbed your heart as it did mine?  The prophet and his wife had been together many years, and she was likely the dearest person on this earth to him, yet he tells us he had served the Lord that day, and that night his wife died. The next day, he continued to serve the Lord. Certainly, his heart was broken and his emotions severely affected, yet Ezekiel refused to quit.
      The longer I am married, the more I realize my dependency upon my wife, and the more we are aware of our deep commitment to each other. But we know if God chooses to take one of us before He takes the other, we must continue on in ministry and service.
      I recall Shelby Smith, a missionary at that time in South America. His wife lost her life in the delivery of their fifth child. This great missionary continued on and God gave him a wonderful new wife. Together, they continued to serve the Lord on the mission field, and their children continue to serve the Lord to this day.
      M.A. Thomas was one of the greatest Indian preachers and missionaries in modem missionary history. Though his son now directs the work that he started more than 30 years, M.A. Thomas continued to preach the Word of God and to see thousands of people come to Christ until his death. His ministry is educating hundreds of young preachers, and caring for thousands of orphans. It was a heartbreaking day when Mrs. Thomas passed away to be with the Lord. M.A. Thomas, however, never stopped faithfully doing what God had called him to do because he knew that would be the desire of his wife of so many years.
      Wade Akins is one of the most committed and effective missionaries ever to be sent to the country of Brazil. I was at the funeral of his wife, Sheri, and it was like an old-fashioned revival service. Wade and his children refused to waste time, but continued to serve the Lord on the mission field. He remarried, and now this couple travels the earth training missionaries and national pastors in a method of evangelism that wins multitudes to Christ and plants churches in towns and villages where there are currently no preachers.
      These men said, with Ezekiel, ''I was serving the Lord and my wife died, and now I continue to serve the Lord.''
      God is pleased if you love your spouse passionately and fervently. It is His desire, that your love for Him be greater and stronger than your love for the dearest people on this earth. For the Child of God, it is always too soon to quit. It is His will that we ''keep on keeping on."
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
      Pray today for the Island of Mayotte with a growing population of about 110,000. The country is made up of two islands and has a Muslim majority. Islam claims 97% of the population. Although there is religious freedom and direct evangelism is permitted, outreach has been very slow. Pray for the barriers to come down and hearts to be opened. Pray for new initiatives planned for the unreached people of these islands. This is a part of the Comores Islands.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''Men are born with two eyes, but with one tongue, that they may seetwice as much as they say."
Cotton