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!
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