Do you realize the words you speak today could change someone’s life forever? Do you realize the words you choose today could transform a situation? Do you realize the words you send could be what someone really needs because of the situation they are in?
How to know what to say, what to send, what to deliver is key! Will you allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you in the midst of a conversation or a meeting? Will you take the time and the effort to speak life into someone you encounter today? Will you take the time to share hope with someone that comes across your path today? Will you share the love of God with someone today? Will you share the greatest love letter ever written which is the Word of God?
Have you ever read, heard, or seen the Father’s Love Letter which takes God’s Word and shares it in a way that people can receive it? Do you realize the value of hearing God’s Word spoken over you and others? Do you realize the value of seeing the words of God to you? Why not take a few moments today to either read, listen, or watch the Father’s Love Letter? God’s Word is worth more than gold! God’s Word is wisdom for each day! God’s Word gives us hope! God’s Word will change your life!
Day 41: Bible In One Year 2017 Devotional, Psalm 19:7-14, Matthew 26:47-68, Exodus 6:13-30, Exodus 7, Exodus 8
Today’s devotional puts it this way:
Why are the words of God so precious? Jesus said: ‘People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4). The ‘word’ is in the present tense, and means ‘is continually coming out of the mouth of God’; it is like a stream pouring forth and, like the stream of a fountain, it is never static. God is continually communicating with his people. He does so, primarily, through the life-changing words of the Bible.
1. Let the words of God transform you … Psalm 19:7-14
7The law of the Lord is perfect,refreshing the soul.The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,making wise the simple. 8The precepts of the Lord are right,giving joy to the heart.The commands of the Lord are radiant,giving light to the eyes. 9The fear of the Lord is pure,enduring forever.The decrees of the Lord are firm,and all of them are righteous. 10They are more precious than gold,than much pure gold;they are sweeter than honey,than honey from the honeycomb. 11By them your servant is warned;in keeping them there is great reward. 12But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13Keep your servant also from willful sins;may they not rule over me.Then I will be blameless,innocent of great transgression. 14May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. —from Psalm 19
Are you needing help? Are you needing encouragement? Are you needing wisdom? Are you needing guidance? What situation are you in today? Do you realize that turning to God’s Word is the answer to help you no matter the situation? Today’s Word speaks to how God’s Word is perfect,refreshing the soul! Today’s Word speaks to how God’s statutes are right,giving joy to the heart! Today’s Word speaks to how God’s commands are radiant,giving light to the eyes! Today’s Word speaks to how our trust in God is pure,enduring forever! Today’s Word speaks to how God’s decrees are firm,and all of them are righteous! Today’s Word speaks to the value of God’s Word as more precious than gold,than much pure gold;they are sweeter than honey,than honey from the honeycomb! God’s Word has life changing effect! God’s Word can transform our lives from the inside out!
Do you want to hear from God? Do more than just read the Bible! Pray as your read it! Use it to have a conversation with God! Do you have a relationship with God? Do you walk with Him and talk with Him allowing Him to guide your words, your thoughts, and your steps? If not, why not start today!
2. Be guided by the words of God … Matthew 26:47-68
47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” 55In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. 57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. 59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.Finally two came forward 61and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” 62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63But Jesus remained silent.The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66What do you think?”“He is worthy of death,” they answered. 67Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?” —from Matthew 26
Will you read God’s Word carefully? Will you allow God’s Word to shape your life? Will you allow God’s Word to speak into your very situation? Will you allow God’s Word to grant you wisdom and allow it to speak into your very situation this very day? Will you stand firm on the Word of God in order to be able to withstand disloyalty, abandonment, and false accusations?
Today’s devotional jumps into these areas speaking into Jesus’ experience as follows:
It was the Scriptures that gave him the ability to deal with disloyalty, abandonment and false accusation. He set an example of how you can deal with these things in your own life:
Judas appears to be expressing his love for Jesus with a kiss, when actually he is betraying him: ‘The betrayer… embraced him and kissed him with [pretended] warmth and devotion’ (vv.48–49, AMP). It was the ultimate two-faced act.
All his friends ‘deserted him and fled’ (v.56b). In the moments of triumph (when people get engaged, have a baby or do well in their exams) it is natural to want to make contact and be around them. But loyalty means also supporting people when they are down. It is much harder to know what to say and the temptation is to stay away and, in effect, abandon them.
It is said, ‘When you are up in life, your friends get to know who you are. When you are down in life, you get to know who your friends are!’
- False accusation
Have you ever been falsely accused? It is a horrible experience. Jesus faced the terrible injustice of false witnesses testifying against him in order that they might put him to death (v.59).
He exercised extraordinary restraint. He did not answer back (v.63), but he allowed himself to be attacked physically (v.67), and he chose not to win the argument but rather to win the war (something for small group hosts on Alpha to remember!). He understood from the Scriptures that all of this had a purpose and would lead, ultimately, to a great victory.
Jesus’ understanding of his own identity and of his mission clearly came from his reading of the word of God. At his trial before the Sanhedrin, where Jesus appears to be a helpless victim, he is actually progressively revealed as the builder of a new temple (v.61), the Messiah (v.63), the Son of God (v.63) and the Son of Man who was to be enthroned at God’s right hand (v.64). In reality, the helpless victim is the one with all the authority and power.
The reference to being the ‘Son of Man’ is a quotation from Daniel 7:13. Jesus understood this as a messianic promise about himself, pointing to his coming suffering, his vindication and his God-given authority.
The irony is that it is the judges who are actually the ones on trial. Like them, we all have to decide what we think about Jesus (Matthew 26:66).
3. Obey the words of God … Exodus 6:13-8:32
Each day we face the fact that we have freewill and get to choose how we will respond to God. We can choose to obey God or disobey God! We can choose to worship God or not! We will face situations today and need to choose how we will respond! We will get commands from God and get to choose if we will obey them or disobey them! How will you choose to respond? The decision is yours! The results will align to your decision!
Don’t be fooled or tricked by the devil who will try to lead you astray by lying to you, misdirecting you, and even through imitations in order to draw you from what you believe in! His goal is to separate you from God! The devil comes to rob, kill, and destroy us! Don’t become so hard hearted to the truth that you miss out on what God is wanting to do in and through you and your life! God’s plan and hope is that we will all turn back to Him and be saved! We read that in God’s Word when we read:
16For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
–from John 3
God is the god of the second chance, third chance, and many more chances! So don’t lose hope! Turn to God! Pray that those around you will soften their hearts and receive Jesus into their hearts too!
Today’s reading from Exodus gives another example of obedience to God and hardening of hearts to the Words of God…
13Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. 14These were the heads of their families:The sons of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel were Hanok and Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. These were the clans of Reuben. 15The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. These were the clans of Simeon. 16These were the names of the sons of Levi according to their records: Gershon, Kohath and Merari. Levi lived 137 years. 17The sons of Gershon, by clans, were Libni and Shimei. 18The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. Kohath lived 133 years. 19The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi.These were the clans of Levi according to their records. 20Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years. 21The sons of Izhar were Korah, Nepheg and Zikri. 22The sons of Uzziel were Mishael, Elzaphan and Sithri. 23Aaron married Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24The sons of Korah were: Assir, Elkanah and Abiasaph. These were the Korahite clans. 25Eleazar son of Aaron married one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas.These were the heads of the Levite families, clan by clan. 26It was this Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, “Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.” 27They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt—this same Moses and Aaron. 28Now when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, 29he said to him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.” 30But Moses said to the Lord, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
–from Exodus 6
1Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
6Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. 7Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Aaron’s Staff Becomes a Snake
8The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9“When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”
10So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said.
The Plague of Blood
14Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’ ”
19The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”
20Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
22But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 23Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. 24And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.
The Plague of Frogs
25Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile.
–from Exodus 7
1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 2If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. 3The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. 4The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’ ”
5Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the streams and canals and ponds, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’ ”
6So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. 7But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
8Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”
9Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”
10“Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.
Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God. 11The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.”
12After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. 13And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. 14They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
The Plague of Gnats
16Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.” 17They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 18But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.
Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 19the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.
The Plague of Flies
20Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. 21If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.
22“ ‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. 23I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This sign will occur tomorrow.’ ”
24And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
25Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.”
26But Moses said, “That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer the Lord our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us? 27We must take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, as he commands us.”
28Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”
29Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only let Pharaoh be sure that he does not act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”
30Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31and the Lord did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. 32But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.
–from Exodus 8
We see how Moses and Aaron obeyed God’s command. We see how pharaoh would not. God gave him many chances to listen and obey! How much would or will or did it take before you were willing to obey God? We see how in today’s devotional, they close it with the following:
In this passage we see an example of how many opportunities God gives to people. Through Moses, God repeatedly spoke to Pharaoh. Pharaoh had plenty of opportunity to respond but ultimately he refused to do so. Moses, on the other hand, walked in a very close relationship with God; praying to him often (8:12,30) and listening to his words. –from Day 41: Bible In One Year 2017