100…days, percent, …


Today is day 100 in my reading the bible in a year. It’s beyond the double digits and into the triple where it will be from now on. Started in single digits for 9 days and then into double digits for 90 days and today is into triple digits for the rest of the year. It’s a time of transition. It’s a time of change. It’s a time of reflexion. It’s a time of purpose. It’s a time to remember. It’s a time to ponder. It’s a time to envision.

Wisdom gained! Wisdom learned! Wisdom read! Wisdom heard! Wisdom from God!


Seven Ways to Acquire Wisdom

Day 100: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 9:1-12, Luke 13:1-30, Deuteronomy 13, Deuteronomy 14

1. Handling criticism … Proverbs 9:1-12

1Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4“Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” 7Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. 8Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. 9Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. 10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

–from Proverbs 9

2. Responding to suffering … Luke 13:1-17

1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

3. Pruning and planting … Luke 13:6-9, 18-21

6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

18Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.
20Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
–from Luke 13

4. Knowing when to confront … Luke 13:15-17

15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

–from Luke 13

5. Turning to Jesus … Luke 13:22-30

The Narrow Door

22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

–from Luke 13

6. Testing prophecy … Deuteronomy 13

Worshiping Other Gods

1If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
6If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
12If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt, 17and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors— 18because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

–Deuteronomy 13

and

15″Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

–from Matthew 7

7. Revering God … Deuteronomy 14

Clean and Unclean Food

1You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead, 2for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
3Do not eat any detestable thing. 4These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep. 6You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. 7However, of those that chew the cud or that have a divided hoof you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the hyrax. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you. 8The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.
9Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales. 10But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.
11You may eat any clean bird. 12But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, 13the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon, 14any kind of raven, 15the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 16the little owl, the great owl, the white owl, 17the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant, 18the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
19All flying insects are unclean to you; do not eat them. 20But any winged creature that is clean you may eat.
21Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. But you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
Tithes
22Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. 23Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. 24But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), 25then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. 26Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. 27And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
28At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

–from Deuteronomy 14

and

19For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) –from Mark 7

10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. –from Proverbs 9

 

Do you realize the motivation is love?


Why did your parents setup rules? Because they love you and wanted to protect you! Why did God give us the commandments? Because He loves us and wants to protect us!

It’s not to keep us from having fun but rather it’s to protect us and keep us safe out of love!

It’s to keep us from stumbling into trouble that could hurt us or even worse kill us!

Ever been told don’t …. and then did and got hurt, scared, … and then realized why you were told to don’t …? Did you confess what you did to them? Did you thank them for the warning? Did you ask them to forgive you for not obeying?

So let’s walk out our lives by the instruction given to us out of love so that we can live in the blessings of that love all the days of our lives!

So let’s remember God’s plan is to give us a hope and a future! God’s commands are for our own good! God loves us, so much so that He sent His one and only Son that whosoever believe in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! God didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but that through Him the world could be saved!

So let’s be obedient and live under the covering of Jesus’ blood all the days of our lives!


A Magnet for God’s Blessing — Day 99: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 43, Luke 12:35-59, Deuteronomy 11, Deuteronomy 12

1. The presence of God … Psalm 43:1-5

1Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. 2You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? 3Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. 4Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. –from Psalm 43

Turn to God when you are struggling! Turn to God when you are feeling down!

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. –from John 12:27

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” –Mark 14:34

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. –John 2:19-21

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, –Colossians 1:19

Life is not easy and it is ok to be authentic that others may know and be able to pray and see God work in and through your life! In this world you will have troubles, but you can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! With Jesus by our side, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

What does obedience look like? Turning to God no matter the situation or the circumstance! When times seem or feel dark where do you turn? Turn to God who is light for there is no darkness in Him!

2. The reward of Jesus … Luke 12:35-59

35 Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Times

54He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” –from Luke 12

Just because the timing doesn’t match your timing, don’t neglect doing what is good, what is right, and what is just! Be a good and faithful servant with the gifts and the talents God has given you! Be a good steward who will return to Him a good return! Let’s serve Him faithfully with the wisdom He provides us in every situation! Not sure what to do? Turn to God and ask for wisdom and He will give it to you without finding fault! Take hold of Jesus to receive the inner peace, even when in the valleys of life or the storms of life! Sometime rather than calming the storm, He bring peace to our hearts and minds in the midst of the storm! Trust in Him! Lean on Him! Walk with Him! Talk with Him! Allow Him to lead you and guide you all the days of your life!

Let’s be peacemakers!

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. –Romans 12:18

3. The strength of God … Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32

Love and Obey the Lord

1Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. 2Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them. 5It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place, 6and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.
8Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. 11But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.
13So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
16Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
22If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— 23then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.
26See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. 29When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. 30As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, westward, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. 31You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

–from Deuteronomy 11

The One Place of Worship

1These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land. 2Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
4You must not worship the Lord your God in their way. 5But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; 6there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. 7There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.
8You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, 9since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the Lord your God is giving you. 10But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety. 11Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. 12And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. 13Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. 14Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.
15Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer, according to the blessing the Lord your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. 16But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 17You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and olive oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. 18Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place the Lord your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to. 19Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
20When the Lord your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, “I would like some meat,” then you may eat as much of it as you want. 21If the place where the Lord your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want. 22Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. 23But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat. 24You must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. 25Do not eat it, so that it may go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
26But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give, and go to the place the Lord will choose. 27Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the Lord your God, but you may eat the meat. 28Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God.
29The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
32See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

–from Deuteronomy 12

 

Life isn’t easy so don’t try to go it alone!


In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world, so walk with Him! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds by walking it out with Jesus who will be your hope and your strength so that when you persevere till the end you will be complete and lacking nothing! God never meant for us to do this thing called life alone, that is why he gave us one another! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! To get thru this life, we need to trust God! To get thru this life, we need to obey God! To get thru this life, we need to stay grounded in the truth and the love of God! We need to build our lives on the rock that is Jesus Christ! So let’s walk thru this life aligned with God so that no matter what comes our way, in the trials, temptation, worry, anxiety, fear, failure and all the other struggles of life, we can have hope and finish the work God has prepared in advance for us to do! So that we can walk out His plan of us having a hope and a future!


How to Face the Struggles of Life — Day 98: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 42:6-11, Luke 12:1-34, Deuteronomy 9, Deuteronomy 10

1. Trials and temptation … Psalm 42:6b-11

6My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. 9I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

–from Psalm 42

  1. Worry and anxiety … Luke 12:1-34

1Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Do Not Worry

22Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

–from Luke 12

Today’s devotional shares 7 ways that Jesus gives us to deal with worry, fear and anxiety…

1) Fear God and nothing else

If you have a right and healthy fear of God, you need fear nothing else (v.5). ‘Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies… There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life – body and soul – in his hands’ (v.5, MSG).

2) Know your value to God

Jesus tells you not to worry or be afraid because you are of infinite value to God. He loves you; ‘You are worth more than many sparrows’ (v.7b). He knows you intimately: ‘The very hairs of your head are all numbered’ (v.7a).

3) Trust the Holy Spirit

He tells you not to worry because you can trust the Holy Spirit to help you. As you face opposition, difficult situations, meetings, and so on, Jesus says, ‘Do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say’ (vv.11–12).

4) Don’t miss the point of life

Jesus says that by worrying you miss the whole point of life: ‘Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot’ (v.15, MSG).

He tells the story of a businessman, who had built up a highly successful enterprise and made a considerable amount of money. The world probably admired him. However, Jesus describes him as a fool and a failure (v.20). He had made the false assumption that he had many years to live (vv.19–20). He had never seen beyond this life (v.20).

His life was focused on himself. The word ‘I’ or ‘my’ appears eleven times (vv.17–19). He thought he was worth what his possessions were worth. He failed to understand the way to be truly rich. He was not ‘rich towards God’ (v.21). As has been pointed out, ‘A person wrapped up in themselves makes a very small package.’

5) Realise that fussing is futile

Jesus encourages you to look beyond material possessions and physical needs, ‘don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion’ (v.22, MSG). There is nothing wrong with these things, but they should not be your focus – ‘life is more than food, and the body more than clothes’ (v.23).

6) Trust God’s care and provision

Jesus points out that worry is the opposite of faith (v.28). If you trust you will not worry. ‘If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!’ (v.28). Faith involves trust in God’s care and provision.

7) Seek God’s kingdom

Trust and obedience go hand in hand. Rather than storing up things for yourself you need to be ‘rich towards God’ (v.21). Rather than worrying about material things you should ‘seek his kingdom’ (v.31) – which God in his good pleasure has given to you (v.32). This should be the focus of your life. ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (v.34).

–from Day 98: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Fear and failure … Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22

Not Because of Israel’s Righteousness

1Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” 3But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.
4After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

The Golden Calf

7Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. 8At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you. 9When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.
11At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12Then the Lord told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”
13And the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”
15So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.
18Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger. 19I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. 20And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. 21Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
22You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.
23And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him. 24You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you.
25I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin. 28Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’ 29But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”

–from Deuteronomy 9

Tablets Like the First Ones

1At that time the Lord said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark. 2I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark.”
3So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me. 5Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and they are there now.
6(The Israelites traveled from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest. 7From there they traveled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. 8At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.)
10Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and the Lord listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you. 11“Go,” the Lord said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
Fear the Lord
12And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
14To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

–Deuteronomy 10

 

It’s a matter of the heart!


We need a change in our heart for greater transformation to take place! We need to have a new heart created in us that will transform us from the inside out! We need to invite Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to help us become new! From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks so we need to make we have things right on the inside or else what comes out may not be good!

With such a transformation, we can love others like God loves us! With such a change, we can move from selfishness to selflessness! With such a decision we open ourselves up to be used by God in the world around us!

We can love people more and better! We can forgive people more and better! We can see people thru God’s eyes and love them like He does! For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! We become a new creation where the old is gone and the new has come! We can start bearing the fruits of love!

68431-loveispatient

When we are transformed on the inside by our relationship with Jesus, we can be satisfied! That empty spot, that needy spot, that hole we had felt in our heart gets filled with Jesus!


How to Love from the Inside Out

Day 97: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 42:1-6, Luke 11:33-54, Deuteronomy 6, Deuteronomy 7, Deuteronomy 8

1. Inner thirst … Psalm 42:1-6a

1As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. 5Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. 6My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. –from Psalm 42

When we start to feel that sense of being downcast, let’s remember and reflect on all that God has done in the past in order to feel that hope of knowing He will never leave us nor abandon us and so we can have hope for His plan to come to fruition of giving us a hope and a future!

2. Inner light … Luke 11:33-54

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law

37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
39Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
46Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
53When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, 54waiting to catch him in something he might say.

–from Luke 11

Consider the state of your heart and conscience – the inside is more important that the outside! It’s not what goes into your mouth that makes you unclean, but what comes out of it! So we need to have a clean heart so that the words that come out of our mouths into the world around us, they are words that build up and strength, words that instruct and correct, words that are spoken in love and truth!

Today’s devotional speaks to our reading reminding us the following…

Jesus warns these religious leaders about wrong attitudes of the heart into which we can so easily fall. These words are a challenge to those of us in any kind of leadership. Jesus warns against:

Self-importance

‘You love the most important seats’ (v.43).

Love of recognition

‘Greetings in the marketplace’ (v.43).

Hypocrisy

There is a danger of teaching a standard that we ourselves fail to live up to: ‘You load people down with burdens they can hardly carry and you will not lift one finger to help them’ (v.46).

Jesus was not afraid to confront people about their inner lives. He was not afraid of confrontation nor was he afraid of making enemies. It is not surprising that the object of his attack, the religious leaders, began to oppose him fiercely (v.54).

–from Day 97: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Inner love … Deuteronomy 6:1-8:20

Today’s devotional speaks to our reading from Deuteronomy with the following…

At the heart of the Old Testament, as of the New Testament, is love. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength’ (6:5). The Hebrew words here are much broader than any translation can fully capture, something that is probably reflected in the New Testament using a fourfold translation (heart, soul, strength, mind). The phrase is meant to sum up the whole of life, including both mind and will.

God always intended that the law of love should be internal – in the heart: ‘Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children’ (v.6, MSG).

Your love for God flows out of his love for you. His love for you is not dependent on any innate moral quality that you possess. It is the grace of God – loving us in spite of our sins, weaknesses and failures. ‘The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loves you’ (7:7–8a).

God showers his love upon you because of his loving character and his faithfulness: ‘The Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you… He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers’ (vv.12–13).

You are called to this intimate and loving relationship with God. However, there are three warnings given in chapter six:

The danger of abandoning God because of the surrounding idolatry – ‘do not follow other gods’ (6:14)

There is the temptation to fit in with the surrounding culture and adopt the beliefs of the people around us. However, God wants you to remain faithful to him rather than merely seeking to fit in with those around you. (Deuteronomy chapter 7 expands on this.)

The danger of doubting God because of hardship – ‘do not test the Lord’ (6:16)

When hardship comes, the temptation is to think that God no longer cares about you, but you need to hold on to the faithfulness and word of God. (Deuteronomy 8:1–5 unpacks this challenge further.)

God allows you to go through tests and trials so you can learn by experience that doing things his way is the best way. If you will not serve and worship him in the hard times of life (the valleys), you may not consistently serve and worship him in the good times (the mountain tops). Remember that mountain tops encourage you, but valleys mature you.

The danger of forgetting God because of affluence – ‘do not forget the Lord’ (6:12)

In the enjoyment of the gift, you can sometimes forget the giver. (Deuteronomy 8:6–20 expands on this.)

Underlying these three warnings is the realisation that material things alone – whether personal possessions or ‘idols’ – do not satisfy: ‘Human beings do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord’ (8:3).

Jesus quoted this verse when he was being tempted in the desert by the devil to satisfy his physical hunger in the wrong way. His response to the devil was that it is the inner life – the inner hunger – that is far more important than the material things. This inner hunger can only be satisfied by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Whether you are materially well-off or not, the focus of your life should be on the inner life which alone can satisfy the deep inner longing which God has put in every human heart.

–from Day 97: Bible In One Year 2017

Today’s reading concludes with the following from Deuteronomy…

Love the Lord Your God

1These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.4 Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
10When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
13Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.
20In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

–from Deuteronomy 6

Driving Out the Nations

1When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. 6For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10But
those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.
11Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
12If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. 15The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. 16You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
17You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” 18But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. 19You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. 20Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. 25The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. 26Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

–from Deuteronomy 7

Do Not Forget the Lord

1Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
6Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
10When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
19If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.

–from Deuteronomy 8

Happy Easter…


Today is a day of celebration! Today is a day of victory! Today is a day to remember!

Some people think of Easter as a time of seeking and finding, which is true when what you are seeking is something that will transform your life forever! God promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him, when we seek Him with all of our all of your heart! It’s not about looking for bunnies or eggs or anything else, today is about seeking God! Finding the truth of God’s love thru Jesus! Finding that God loves you so much that Jesus took the pain and the suffering that led to the cross and the cross itself, even dying on it so that the price would be paid so that we could be redeemed and reconciled back to God! It’s a gift for us to receive! It’s a gift we have to choose to receive! Have you already asked Jesus into your life and started the journey of building a relationship with Him? If you have and we haven’t met in person, I look forward to meeting you one day as we celebrate in heaven together. If you haven’t made the decision, you haven’t chosen to ask Jesus into your life and to start this relationship that will last for eternity, why not decide today on the day that He rose from the dead, defeating hell, and breaking the chains of sin? Why not ask Him in with your own words and begin the journey of life with God rather than apart from God? Not sure how to start, here is a sample you can use today…

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.

–from http://salvationprayer.info/home/salvation/

If you prayed a prayer or the above prayer, angels are celebrating in heaven over your decision, your words, and your actions! If you decided and prayed, I look forward to meeting you one day as we celebrate in heaven together!

May God receive the praise, the honor and the glory in Jesus’ name! Amen!

Today’s devotional shares the incredible truth that…

God loves you. God does not force himself upon you, but he promises to reveal himself to you if you honestly seek him.

–from Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017


Your Most Exciting Find — Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Proverbs 8:32-36, Luke 11:5-32, Deuteronomy 4:15-49, Deuteronomy 5

1. Seek God’s wisdom daily … Proverbs 8:32-36

32“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. 34Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. 36But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” –from Proverbs 8

Why just read when you can learn straight from Jesus? Why just have knowledge when you can have wisdom? Let’s start our relationship with Jesus and walk with Him daily! Let’s pray without ceasing so that in every moment, in every situation, in every conversation, Jesus can speak to us wisdom that we can speak hope, life, love, and truth into the lives of the people God brings into our lives who need to hear from Him and of Him!

So let’s not try to just rush into it! Let’s not think of Jesus like a genie in a bottle but someone we want to start and build an intimate relationship with! Let’s make time! Let’s take time! Let’s build a relationship with Jesus who we will get to spend eternity with!

2. Seek God’s Spirit persistently … Luke 11:5-32

5Then Jesus said to them, Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Jesus and Beelzebul

14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

The Sign of Jonah

29As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

–from Luke 11

Don’t miss out on all that God has for you! Don’t be robbed by the lies of the devil! Consider what today’s devotional tells us here in relations to seeking God’s Spirit persistently…

Jesus deals with some of the principal difficulties you may have in receiving from God.

Doubt

People have many doubts in this whole area. They wonder, ‘If I ask will I receive?’ Jesus says simply: ‘I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you’ (v.9).

Jesus must have seen that they were a little sceptical because he repeats it in a different way: ‘Keep on seeking and you will find.’ And again he says a third time: ‘Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.’

He knows human nature so he goes on a fourth time: ‘For everyone who asks receives’ (v.10). They are not convinced so he says it a fifth time: ‘Everyone who keeps on seeking finds.’ Again a sixth time: ‘To everyone who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened.’

Why does he say it six times? Because he knows our tendency to doubt. You may find it very difficult to believe that God would give you anything – let alone something as wonderful as his Holy Spirit and the gifts that come with the Spirit.

Fear

Even if you have cleared the first hurdle of doubt, you may trip up on the next hurdle of fear. The fear is about what you will receive. Will it be something good?

Jesus uses the analogy of a human father. If a child asks for a fish, no father would give them a snake. If a child asks for an egg, no father would give them a scorpion (vv.11–12). It is unthinkable that we would treat our children like that.

Jesus goes on to say that in comparison with God we are evil! If we would not treat our children like that, it is inconceivable that God would treat us like that. God will not let you down. If you ask for the Holy Spirit and all the wonderful gifts he brings, that is exactly what you will receive (v.13).

Inadequacy

Of course, it is important to ask for forgiveness and turn your back on all that you know is wrong. However, even after you have done that, you may have a vague feeling of unworthiness and inadequacy. You may not believe that God would give you anything.

It is sometimes easier to believe that he will give gifts to very advanced Christians, but not to us. But Jesus does not say, ‘How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to all very advanced Christians.’ He says, ‘How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (v.13).

The second part of the passage teaches us to make sure we are seeking the right things. Some people were seeking, ‘for a sign from heaven’ (v.16). These same people were attributing the work that Jesus was doing through the Holy Spirit to the devil (v.15).

Jesus points out that the devil does not drive out demons (vv.17–20) as Jesus did. Then he tells them not to seek ‘signs’. The only sign we need is the sign of the resurrection (vv.29–30). This is the sign that Jesus is greater than both Solomon and Jonah (vv.31–32).

Don’t seek the wrong things. Seek God, his kingdom, his righteousness and his Holy Spirit.

–from Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Seek God’s presence wholeheartedly … Deuteronomy 4:15-5:33

15You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.
21The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land. 23Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
25After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The Lord Is God

32Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
35You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. 36From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.
39Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

Cities of Refuge

41Then Moses set aside three cities east of the Jordan, 42to which anyone who had killed a person could flee if they had unintentionally killed a neighbor without malice aforethought. They could flee into one of these cities and save their life. 43The cities were these: Bezer in the wilderness plateau, for the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, for the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44This is the law Moses set before the Israelites. 45These are the stipulations, decrees and laws Moses gave them when they came out of Egypt 46and were in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon and was defeated by Moses and the Israelites as they came out of Egypt. 47They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 48This land extended from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirion (that is, Hermon), 49and included all the Arabah east of the Jordan, as far as the Dead Sea, below the slopes of Pisgah.

–from Deuteronomy 4

The Ten Commandments

1Moses summoned all Israel and said:
Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. 4The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. 5(At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:
6“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7“You shall have no other gods before me.
8“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
12“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
16“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
17“You shall not murder.
18“You shall not commit adultery.
19“You shall not steal.
20“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
21“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
22These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
23When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. 24And you said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them. 25But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer. 26For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? 27Go near and listen to all that the Lord our God says. Then tell us whatever the Lord our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”
28The Lord heard you when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. 29Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
30“Go, tell them to return to their tents. 31But you stay here with me so that I may give you all the commands, decrees and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”
32So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

–from Deuteronomy 5

Today’s devotional speaks to these 2 chapters as follows…

You can have a personal relationship with God. God says to his people, ‘To you it was shown, that you might realise and have personal knowledge that the Lord is God’ (4:35, AMP).

Moses tells the people of God that they will be scattered amongst the nations (v.27). But he said, ‘If from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul’ (v.29).

We see this same emphasis on our relationship with God at the start of the Ten Commandments. We live in a world that thinks the only thing that matters is how we relate to other people. How we relate to others is hugely important and it is the subject of commandments six to ten (5:16–21). However, there is something even more important than how you relate to others. Your relationship with God is the most important aspect of your life.

It is out of this relationship that your love for others should flow. God is not an optional extra in your life. Moses says, ‘The Lord your God is a consuming fire’ (4:24). He loves you. He chose you and wants to bless you with his presence (v.37). He is a ‘merciful God’ (v.31). He has set you free from captivity, as he freed the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery’ (5:6).

It is in this context that he tells you to put your relationship with him above everything else (commandments one to four, vv.6–15). The next priority is your relationships in the family (v.16). Then your relationship with others (commandments six to nine, vv.17–20). Finally, commandment number ten addresses your thought-life (v.21).

Moses tells the people to ‘listen’ to these instructions, ‘learn them’, ‘live them’ (v.1, MSG). If you seek God daily, persistently and wholeheartedly, you will find life in all its fullness, and it will transform the way that you love and serve others.

–from Day 96: Bible In One Year 2017