Meeting Needs of Others

Deut 23 love your neighbor2aDeut 23 “Be Creative as you Love Your Neighbor.”

Both Moses and Jesus taught us that we are to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. Paul taught the Thessalonians that same principle; meet the needs of those who are your brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. God’s provision for ancient Israel was that if one became hungry while walking to the next destination, you were allowed to enter a neighbor’s grain field and pluck some kernels to eat, but not to collect the grain for another time. Jesus and the disciples followed that principle,  but the Pharisees had added to that principle by saying even if hungry, you cannot do that for it is work on the Sabbath.

Today in our fast food society we drive from place to place. We wait in drive-up lanes, not walk through a grain field. So how can we apply the principle today? We continue to have open hearts and eyes to the needs around us remembering the words of Jesus: “And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.” [Mat 10:42 ] After we have filled our plates, why not purchase an extra dinner for someone behind you in the drive-up lane? Or a cup of coffee?

Be creative today as you go about your busyness. Stop and look where God might be working, and you can be His servant.

What’s in your wallet…”er” your armor?

Deut 20 add prayer to your armor2aDeut 20 There is a catchy commercial that asks that question thinking that money is always the answer but not always. How do you fight battles of both kinds: physical and spiritual? For both, we need special armor.

Moses addresses the first as he prepares the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. They would face enemies with horses, chariots, and numerous men. The fear was real, but Moses took the fighting men aside and told them a powerful truth: Some trust in chariots, some in horses and some in the numerous men. In that time, “do not be fainthearted. Do not fear and tremble or be terrified of them” because the Lord your God goes with you to fight on your behalf to give you victory.

Our battle is spiritual, but the principles are the same: do not be fainthearted. We struggle not against flesh and blood but the spiritual forces of the evil one. We may experience fear of the enemies around us and wish we could have wings of a dove to fly away to safety, yet God has provided us with the spiritual armor; the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel which is the good news. Our shield is that of faith by which we can extinguish the flaming arrows of our adversary. Our helmet is that of salvation, and we have the Word of God! Don’t forget the most important piece of armor: the powerful forces of prayer and petition.

Whether a physical or spiritual battle, know and cling to this truth: Our God goes before us, and He will not allow his righteous ones to fall. Take up your armor and stand firm.

So what’s in your wallet…’er’ your armor?

Ye Shall be Blameless

Deut 18 be blameless2aDeut 18:  “You must be blameless before the Lord your God.” Blameless means we are innocent or free of blame or one whose life exhibits integrity. Some Synonyms are irreproachable, unimpeachable, irreprehensible, inculpable, faultless, guiltless, unblemished, unspotted, unsullied, undefiled, spotless, stainless, and innocent. So when God says we are to be blameless before the Lord, we could insert any of these synonyms and examine our character. 

To help us further, we can turn to the letter to the Romans to learn how to bring about this character quality in our life: “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”[Rom 12:2] 

But along the way, we may encounter our past sins, which Satan chooses to rehash. But, that is the marvel of 1John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” It is then that God looks at us as blameless because the blood of Jesus has covered over those sins, and we can walk in newness of life—blameless or innocent before the Father. “In both Old and New Testament times, God justifies the ungodly, sanctifies the faithful, and rewards their new Spirit-wrought righteousness.” [John Piper]

 So where are you in your walk? Are you listening to Satan or the Lord? 

 

Remembering…

Deut 15 and 16 remember2a

Deut 15 – 16 Focus on the Positive  in your thinking:

I am sure you have had a similar experience while reading. Your mind is taking in all of the words, and then without warning, a verse jumps off the page, and you stop. For example, in chapters 15 and 16, the word “remember” calls to mind what we are to be doing. Moses told the Israelites to remember for the rest of your lives their delivery from bondage. Remember, you were a slave but now are free. We need to do this same exercise. Remember when you were enslaved to sin, but now because of Jesus Christ, we are free. We can achieve this by reviewing all that God has thought about us and what HE has done for us.

Thinking causes us to remember:

PS 40:5 many are the wonders which thou hast done & thy thoughts ♥ toward me, there is none to compare with God, if I were to declare & speak of them they would be too numerous to count

  1. 139:17 how precious also are thy thoughts to me O God, how fast is the sum of them

Is. 55:9 thank you God your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and

Jer. 29:11 you know the plans you determined in eternity past for me!♥

 

Focus on the positive today, resist the devil’s plan to insert his deadly d’s into your life (discouragement, dismay, and others) Don’t give him a foothold.

Counting the Cost

Deut 10 set apart2ajpg

Deut 10 to 12 Five Things God Requires

I am reading the book, Hearts Afire about women who sacrificed all to serve God. They willingly chose to surrender their lives to God — no matter the cost!

 

That challenges me to ask:  am I?

Being set apart for God and His work took on a whole new meaning when they realized the cost. Jesus reminded the disciples to count the cost before you embark on a project, such as building a tower. He used that metaphor to help them realize that before you say you are willing to serve God full time, you must do as the builder does before he orders materials and hires workers.  Moses told the Israelites that before they could follow God, they must count the cost, and it included five things.

10:12 Moses said God requires that you reverently fear Him. Secondly, you must choose to walk in all His ways. Thirdly, you must love Him totally and completely reminding us that He is a jealous God and will not share His glory with another. Fourthly, you must endeavor to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. And lastly, you must keep His commandments which the Apostle John said are not burdensome.

10:20 reiterates those same details with one added point; you must swear by His Name. Why would God add that? In vs. 21, the answer is that He is our praise, and He is our God. He alone has done these great and awesome things for you!

Are you willing to be set apart for His service?

God is a Promise Keeper; are You?

Deut 7 chosen

Deut 7-8 Isaiah wrote that God is a promise keeper. He opens the eyes of the blind and frees prisoners. That could mean literally or spiritually and perhaps both. Our arch adversary seeks to keep God’s children both blind and imprisoned. But, when God delivers us, we should remember Jesus’ words: do not return to the adversary lest something worse happen. We must destroy the works of the enemy because if we do not, he and his demons will turn away our children from the faith to serve other gods. That was the warning Moses gave the children of Israel.

Secondly, God wants us to remember that he did not set his love upon us or choose us because of anything within us, but only because He loves us. It is because of his love that he promised to keep his oath and redeemed us from the prison of sin. We also need this reminder that within us lies no good thing yet because of His faithfulness He chose us from eternity past for His purpose. “The promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. No, it is realized as I desire and is fulfilled as I intend” [Is 55]

So why do we not experience full pardon and freedom to see all that God has for us? It is because we simply do not want to destroy that which binds us utterly. We are comfortable in our sins. Until we come to the place that we desire God more than our sin that we will be free.

So where are you?

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Who is God?

Deut 4 to 6 Know God2apng

Deut 4-6 God is…

The world shouts out: who is God? The world questions: who is God? They might say God is love and He is, but Moses said God is the Lord. He revealed Himself to the pagan Egyptians and to the Israelites as one who is not a man that he should change his mind. He revealed Himself in signs and wonders such as at Baal-Peor where He eradicated from their midst everyone who followed that false god. Moses asked them this question: “what other great nation has a god so near to them like the Lord our God whenever we call on him?” And God is asking us the very same question and to that he asks: Do you know me?

Peter reminded the sojourners just as Moses was reminding the people: “You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.” Even though they did not “see” him they heard his voice saying: “This is the correct way, walk in it,” whether you are heading to the right or the left. [Is 30]And again, if we seek Him, we will find Him; if we seek Him with all our heart and soul.

 

Who is God? He is the Lord God and there is no other besides him. Our obligation: Love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being and all your strength. In this way we affirm we serve Him and only Him.”

“Knowing the God of Our Past, Present, and the Future”

deut 1 prov 3 trust in the Lord2a

Deut 1-3 God is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Failure only happens because of our unbelief in this truth.

How often are we set to take on a new project but forget to ask God to go before us, and when we step out, we lose heart because we see with our earthly eyes rather than our heavenly eyes? How often, like the children of Israel, we see the enemies and lose confidence because we forget that God has given us all we need and wisdom for the asking. Remember this truth: the fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. [Prov 29:25a]

The same God that took them out of Egypt would be the same God that would go before them. He would carry them; fight for them; provide direction for each step ahead and place terror in the eyes of the enemy. And the same is true for us today!

Is God the same promise keeper to you now as he was in your past? Reread this verse from Proverbs: “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.”  d of Our Past, Present, and the Future”

God is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Failure only happens because of our unbelief of this truth.

How often are we set to take on a new project but forget to ask God to go before us and when we step out we lose heart because we see with our earthly eyes rather than our heavenly eyes? How often, like the children of Israel, we see the enemies and lose confidence because we forget that God has given us all we need and wisdom for the asking. Remember this truth: the fear of man is a snare but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. [Prov 29:25a]

The same God that took them out of Egypt would be the same God that would go before them. He would carry them; fight for them; provide direction for each step ahead and place terror in the eyes of the enemy. And the same is true for us today!

Is God the same promise keeper to you now as he was in your past? Reread this verse from Proverbs: “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight.”

A Sticky-Wicket Problem or Not?

 

Numbers 36 god honors our obedience2qNumbers 36  Zelophehad had been a devoted father but his dear wife, who is not mentioned, bore him only daughters and no sons. In fact, she gave birth to five daughters! We know he was faithful because the daughters eulogized him in chapter 27 ““Our father died in the wilderness, although he was not part of the company of those that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah, but he died for his own sin, and he had no sons.” Because the tribal lineage and legacy went through the male line, these daughters learned that their father’s name would be lost from among his family because of this rule of law. So they asked Moses to rule that they would be given them Zelophehad’s inheritance. God agreed with them. Fast forward to chapter 36 and we find that the heads of their tribe came to Moses with a “stickey-wicket” problem of marriage. If these daughters married out of the tribe then their inheritance would be given to the new husband and the new tribe and the land to the new husband. What to do!
Moses concurred with the men that these girls should only marry in their tribe so that in the year of the Jubilee there would not be a problem with the land inheritance. The girls agreed and they went on to marry men of their tribe.

 

God placed this long tale to remind us of how to honor our leaders. These daughters are a role model for obedience, decisions, and choices. They are mentioned in 3 chapters of Numbers and in Joshua—and always named in their birth order.

 

 

Sin and Holiness cannot co-exist

 

numbers 33 be holy2aNumbers 33 From Genesis to Revelation, one theme is prominent: we are to be a holy people. As the people of Israel are nearing the end of their wilderness wandering, Moses takes them aside to remind them of this premise. They must purge the land of the idolaters and their idols. “Destroy all their carved images, all their molten images, and demolish their high places.” Then God gave them a warning: “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those whom you allow to remain will be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your side, and will cause you trouble in the land where you will be living.” Further: if you do not do what I intended to do to them, I will do it to you. 

God is very clear; He demands holiness. He does not want his people to be touched or to embrace that which are unholy. 

Although written to the Israelites, it applies to us as well. Peter reminded the sojourners of God’s words: “You shall be holy because I am holy.” We can only do that when we are purged from our sin by the blood of Jesus Christ. In writing to the Romans, Paul reminded them; do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We can only do that when we immersed in His Word daily. 

In thinking about this, what idols may we still be bowing down to? Is our mind clear and conformed to Christ?