Do you know the truth? Have you received the truth? Have you heard the truth? Do you know the truth? Do you realize that the truth will set you free? Don’t be stuck where you are because of lies or deception! Don’t be trapped by the tricks and the traps? Don’t be fooled by the lies and tricks! Don’t be led astray by deceptions and misinformation! Seek the truth for the truth will set you free!
What have you given access to? What have you given control to? What have you given power to? What have you submitted to? Will you receive the free gift of salvation? It will give you access to the truth! The truth will set you free!
‘I Was a Slave’ — Day 75: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Psalm 34:11-22, Luke 1:57-80, Numbers 4, Numbers 5:1-10
1. Live a life of freedom … Psalm 34:11-22
11Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.18The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. –from Psalm 34
Are you seeking the truth? Are you wanting to learn? Are you desiring to know? Are you looking for answers? Are you willing to open the door and allow God into your life? Yes in this world we will have troubles! Having God in your life doesn’t prevent them, it allows you the reality that God will be with you in and through them, never leaving you nor abandoning you! Yes in this life we will go through trials of many kinds! Having God in your life doesn’t stop them, but it allows us to have hope and to press on! Having a hope that provides the opportunity for us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! Being able to press on knowing that letting perseverance finish its work so will make us be mature and complete, not lacking anything!
So let’s take hold of the truth given to us through this Psalm today! Let’s live out our lives trusting in God and allow the truth of this Psalm to be experiences and shared in and through our lives! Let’s live out our lives so that in and through it, God will be exalted and lifted up, giving Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!
Let’s receive the gift of salvation! Let’s take hold of the freedom it provides!
What troubles are you facing? What challenges are before you? What obstacles are you running into? Give them all up to God! Take hold of the truths from today’s Psalm!
Receive the gift of Jesus! Become that new creation! Let go of the old and press forward into the new! Jesus paid it all! We no longer need to be slaves to fear! We are children of God thanks to Jesus! We can grab hold of the promises of the righteous because of receiving Jesus! Let’s walk in the freedom provided as we step out today!
2. Think about the greatness of your freedom … Luke 1:57-80
57When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
61They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”
62Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
67His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant, 73the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” 80And the child grew and became strong in spirit and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel. –from Luke 1
Are you waiting? Are you hoping? Are you seeking? Are you in need of a savior? Are you in need of help? Are you in need of being set free? Are you coming through a period of silence where you haven’t been hearing? Are you going through a time when you want to hear from God? Will you invite Jesus in? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to speak into and over your life? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you as He did through Zechariah, John the baptist’s dad? Imagine hearing as you are speaking God speaking over you, your family, your friends! Imagine getting to be a vessel of God to the people around you! Imagine the freedom that would take place! Are you willing? Will you grab hold of the freedom provided by Jesus? Freedom from fear (v.74b), Freedom to serve God (v.74b), Freedom to be holy (v.75), Freedom to be righteous (v.75), Freedom from death (v.79b).
3. Never take your freedom for granted … Numbers 4:1-5:10
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2“Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. 3Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.
4“This is the work of the Kohathites at the tent of meeting: the care of the most holy things. 5When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and put it over the ark of the covenant law. 6Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place.
7“Over the table of the Presence they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings; the bread that is continually there is to remain on it. 8They are to spread a scarlet cloth over them, cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place.
9“They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays, and all its jars for the olive oil used to supply it. 10Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of the durable leather and put it on a carrying frame.
11“Over the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place.
12“They are to take all the articles used for ministering in the sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover that with the durable leather and put them on a carrying frame.
13“They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14Then they are to place on it all the utensils used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. Over it they are to spread a covering of the durable leather and put the poles in place.
15“After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.
16“Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. He is to be in charge of the entire tabernacle and everything in it, including its holy furnishings and articles.”
17The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18“See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites. 19So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things, do this for them: Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry. 20But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die.”
21The Lord said to Moses, 22“Take a census also of the Gershonites by their families and clans. 23Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.
24“This is the service of the Gershonite clans in their carrying and their other work: 25They are to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, that is, the tent of meeting, its covering and its outer covering of durable leather, the curtains for the entrance to the tent of meeting, 26the curtains of the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard, the ropes and all the equipment used in the service of the tent. The Gershonites are to do all that needs to be done with these things. 27All their service, whether carrying or doing other work, is to be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons. You shall assign to them as their responsibility all they are to carry. 28This is the service of the Gershonite clans at the tent of meeting. Their duties are to be under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.
29“Count the Merarites by their clans and families. 30Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. 31As part of all their service at the tent, they are to carry the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts and bases, 32as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, ropes, all their equipment and everything related to their use. Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. 33This is the service of the Merarite clans as they work at the tent of meeting under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest.”
The Numbering of the Levite Clans
34Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites by their clans and families. 35All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 36counted by clans, were 2,750. 37This was the total of all those in the Kohathite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord’s command through Moses.
38The Gershonites were counted by their clans and families. 39All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 40counted by their clans and families, were 2,630. 41This was the total of those in the Gershonite clans who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord’s command.
42The Merarites were counted by their clans and families. 43All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work at the tent of meeting, 44counted by their clans, were 3,200. 45This was the total of those in the Merarite clans. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the Lord’s command through Moses.
46So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by their clans and families. 47All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to do the work of serving and carrying the tent of meeting 48numbered 8,580. 49At the Lord’s command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry.
Thus they were counted, as the Lord commanded Moses. –from Numbers 4
1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease or a discharge of any kind, or who is ceremonially unclean because of a dead body. 3Send away male and female alike; send them outside the camp so they will not defile their camp, where I dwell among them.” 4The Israelites did so; they sent them outside the camp. They did just as the Lord had instructed Moses.
Restitution for Wrongs
5The Lord said to Moses, 6“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty 7and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. 8But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for the wrongdoer. 9All the sacred contributions the Israelites bring to a priest will belong to him. 10Sacred things belong to their owners, but what they give to the priest will belong to the priest.’ ” –from Numbers 5
Are you serving in your local church? Are you contributing or consuming? Are you a contributor to the work of God? Are you a consumer of the work of God? We each have a part to play! We are part of the body and we need to do our part! We need to work in unity!
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. –from 1 Corinthians 12
What is your gift? What is your talent? What is your part to play in the body of Christ? What role do you need to step up and step into? What is it that you can do to serve the body? What is that you can do to show and share the freedom you have received in and through Jesus? Jesus already paid the price for our freedom! So what will you choose to freely do? How will you respond to such an incredible gift of God? Not out of compulsion or guilt!
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! –from 2 Corinthians 9